Skip to main content

Full text of "The new materialism : dictatorial scientific utterances and the decline of thought"

See other formats


^.. A 













bg tfje Institute) auto 









THE inquiry whether the hypotheses upon which modern 
scientific opinion in favour of some form of the 
physical doctrine of life which constitute the basis of 
every kind of materialism are or are not worthy of 
acceptance at this time, has called forth very different 
replies. Some in authority have answered with a positive 
and unhesitating affirmative, others have given an uncertain 
assent, or have contented themselves by not dissenting. 
A very small number have objected to the physical view 
of life as untenable in the present state of scientific know- 
ledge, and as being, upon vai'ious grounds, unworthy of 
acceptance. In this minority I still find myself, because, 
notwithstanding full inquiry, and very careful examination 


concerning conclusions arrived at by others, I am obliged 
to confess that I feel more strongly convinced than ever, that 
all the physical doctrines of life yet advanced are quite un- 
tenable. Some of the reasons which have led me to draw 
this conclusion shall be set forth in this paper, while many 
more have been already given in works and memoirs which 
have been written by me during the last twenty years. The 
general conclusion which, as it seems to me, a careful and 
candid examination of the facts which bear upon the question 
compels an unbiassed thinker to draw, is that no form of the 
hypothesis which attributes the phenomena of the living 
world to mere matter and its properties has been, or can be, 
justified by reason. 

Unlearned people have been flattered by having been, as it 
were, taken into the confidence of certain authorities of 
materialistic tendencies, and assured that, as science is but 
educated common-sense, they are well able to judge concern- 
ing many deep, scientific questions of consummate interest 
to every person of intelligence, and that, therefore, they will 
feel convinced of the truth of recent conjectures on the 
physical nature of life. Materialistic doctrines have now been 
taught for so many years that they have come to be looked 
upon as a sort of belief, or faith, which ought to be at once 
accepted by all who desire to be considered, from the material- 
istic point of view, as reasonable persons. Any who should be 
so rash as to inquire concerning the exact meaning of the 
terms employed, would be, of course, altogether beneath 
notice, as they would prove, by the doubt they implied, that 
they belonged to that large group of unteachable persons not 
included among the wise, the learned, or the cultured. 

Instead of the hypothetical suggestions in favour of the 
physical doctrine of life, advocated by materialists and others, 
resulting from a legitimate flight, or extension, of the imagina- 
tion into the border-land which lies between th'e extreme 
limit of observation and experiment, and that region which 
gradually passes into the Unknown and Unknowable, it will, 
I think, be found that they are almost entirely sustained by 
mere assertion, and by authoritative declaration, while careful 
study will convince that they are not sanctioned by the facts, 
observations, and reasonings, which constitute the science and 
philosophy of the time in which we live. 

Positive conclusions have been drawn concerning questions 
of momentous consequence not only to curious and scientific 
people, but to mankind at large, and have been advocated with 
a confidence which precludes doubt, and reiterated with a 
pertinacity, which is calculated almost to enforce acceptance. 


But few of those, who are carried along by the materialistic 
stream, have troubled to think over the remarkable tenets to 
which they have given their assent. They receive with a 
faith, called robust, which seems so blind and unreasoning as 
to border on credulity, dogmatic and dictatorial conjectures 
of the most extravagant kind, convinced, but not by reason, 
that the authors of them could not be mistaken in the views 
they advanced with such positive and undoubting emphasis. 

The reception of materialistic dogmas by any intelligent 
person who takes the trouble to think over their terms, and 
is capable of appreciating, and analysing, and examining the 
evidence upon which they are supposed to rest, is simply 
impossible; and the applause with which these views have 
been received in some quarters is to be accounted for by the 
decline of thought, and the indisposition on the part of the 
public to trouble to think at all on the merits of the arguments 
presented to them. Is there one acquainted with the powers 
and actions, and results of living, of any form of living matter, 
who will declare that he believes the doctrine that non-living 
matter alone is the source of all life, and will state the 
grounds of his belief ? 

Bear in mind that no state of matter known, no mere 
chemical combinations, no mechanical contrivances, no 
machinery ever made, can be caused to exhibit phenomena 
resembling in any really essential particular those which are 
characteristic of every form of living matter that exists in 
nature, and which, we must infer, have characterised every 
particle that has ever existed since the first appearance of 
primitive life on the earth. 

Neither can any known form or mode of ordinary energy 
construct or form, direct, control, or regulate. Nevertheless, 
it is taught far and wide that vital actions are due to the 
energy which belongs to ordinary matter, and that, therefore, 
vital action is but a modified form of ordinary physical or 
physico-chemical action. Vital action, it is said, differs in 
degree only from actions which occur in the non-living world. 

As regards the nature of that remarkable process of growth 
which takes place in all things living we find great diversity 
of opinion. Some, indeed, maintain that growth is not a vital 
process at all, but that it essentially consists of the aggrega- 
tion of particles of matter ; nevertheless, no one who regards 
growth as a physical operation has appealed to any definite 
case of growth to show that the intimate changes which occur 
are really of the character he asserts. The growth of a leaf, 
for example, seems to be very widely removed from the mere 
aggregation of particles of matter. 

In all growth we have a process essential and peculiar to 
all life, which is confined exclusively to the living, which does 
not characterise any form of non-living matter whatever. But 
growth is but one of several vital phenomena absent in all 
non-living, present in every kind of living. It has been 
asserted, and is now ordinarily taught, that crystals grow. 
Between the so-called growth of a crystal and the actual 
growth of a particle of living matter there is, however, no 
true analogy. 

Herbert Spencer, strange as it*may seem, affirms that 
crystals grow, and that non-crystalline masses of various kinds 
grow. He declares that the accumulation of carbon on the 
wick of an unsnuffed candle is an example of growth. On the 
other hand, he states that the living shoots from a growing 
potato are not an example of growth. Now I desire to direct 
your attention to this part of Herbert Spencer's work because 
he endeavours to convince his readers of " the essential com- 
munity of nature between organic growth and inorganic 
growth/' There, will be found some of the very remarkable 
inferences upon which his system of evolution in part rests, 
and which may be clearly proved to be erroneous. Indeed, 
not a few of the assertions he makes may be answered by a 
direct contradiction, with advantage to the cause of truth. 
Non-living things do not grow, as he affirms, while all 
living things and every form of living material does grow, 
although, he says, with respect to a living plant that its increase 
is not growth. The case of the potato, which he affirms not to 
be growth, is really as good an instance of growth as can be 
obtained in nature. Now, if I can persuade any disciple of 
Herbert Spencer to explain and defend his utterances in the 
first two pages of this chapter of part II. on the " Inductions 
of Biology," I think much advantage would result. A 
careful examination of this chapter will enable any intelli- 
gent person to see how the idea of community of nature 
sought to be established between the living and the non- 
living is defended by this author. The so-called growth of 
the non-living masses differs absolutely from the only true 
growth which is peculiar to the living world, but universal in 
it. Now vital growth has never been explained to this day, 
and cannot be explained on chemical or mechanical princi- 
ples, or imitated in the laboratory. The growth of the 
most minute particle of living matter is, as I have stated, 
a vital process, and is due to the operation of a force or 
power absolutely distinct from ordinary energy and from every 
form of force of non-living matter. Every kind of aggregation 
is absolutely distinct from growth, and does not involve the 

latter. Processes of aggregation may go on to all eternity 
without the occurrence of any change resembling, or allied to, 
that of growth. Groivth after all is but one of several purely 
vital phenomena. 

Surely it is the duty of all persons having any pretensions to 
culture, who esteem accuracy and truth, and desire to promote 
their diffusion, either to condemn the materialistic doctrine as 
scientifically untenable, or to insist that more accurate and 
adequate explanation of the facts and principles upon which 
it is based should be given by those who have unreservedly 
committed themselves to the universal application of this 
physical hypothesis of life, and that some reply should be 
made to the objections that have been raised to its general 
application to living things. 

I would draw attention to the declaration again and again 
repeated, and now taught even to children, that the living and 
the non-living differ only in degree, that tJte living has been 
evolced by degrees from the non-living, and that the latter 
passes by gradations towards the former state. No one has 
adduced any evidence in proof of these conclusions which are, 
in fact, dictatorial assertions only, and no specimen of any 
kind of matter which is actually passing from the non-living 
to the living state, or which, can be shown to establish any 
connexion between these absolutely different conditions of 
matter has been, or can be at this time, brought forward. 

You will, I think, find that, in endeavouring to prove the 
reasonableness and strength of the doctrines they have espoused, 
the advocates of every form of materialism mainly rely upon 
the assumed applicability to matter that lives, of conclusions 
arrived at concerning the nature of the phenomena of non- 
living matter. But the fact, That this living matter, as is well 
known, is invariably derived from matter that already lived, is 
a serious difficulty which presents itself to the mind at the 
outset of the inquiry, and which, instead of receiving some 
explanation as regards its bearing upon physical views of life, 
is on account of its inconvenient tendency generally ignored. 
Materialism, indeed, rests upon this assumed intimate alliance 
and relationship between the living and non-living. But as 
soon as the knowledge of the peculiar and special nature of 
all vital actions shall be better known and more widely spread, 
and when people shall have learnt how absolutely the vital are 
marked off from purely physical and chemical actions, belief 
in fhaterialism will be shaken, and this antiquated creed will 
then only retain the support of a few faithful adherents 
wedded to the old paths and ancient ways who have not heart 
to desert the old beliefs, evolved in the infancy of thought and 


philosophical inquiry. Were their reason allowed to do so, it 
would probably lead them towards a goal of a very different 
nature. It is, indeed, strange that one of the chief means 
relied upon for the purpose of convincing people of the truth 
of materialism should be to institute comparisons between 
things which are alive and have gradually grown from the in- 
finitesimal, transparent, structureless into form and bulk, and 
lifeless machines which have been made in pieces and after- 
wards put together ; and to assure the public that these two 
utterly distinct things, living beings and machines nay, 
machines made by man, and not capable of being produced in 
any other way were very much alike, and belonged to the 
same category. It would be tedious were I to repeat the 
dictatorial utterances in argumentative form which have been 
published far and wide for the purpose of leading people to 
believe that a living thing was like a watch, or a steam-engine, 
or a hydraulic apparatus. Moreover, some of the comparisons 
have been voluntarily abandoned by their authors in favour of 
others even more absurd. Such tricks as calling a watch a 
creature, and a man a machine, are hardly likely to mislead 
even the most ignorant after they have withdrawn themselves 
from the bewitching influence of the persuasive eloquence of 
the materialist prophet, and have commenced to calmly think 
over his extraordinary utterances, in order to extract any 
meaning that may be hidden by the frothy metaphors of 
modern physico-vital conjecture. 

The very last comparison made for the purpose of helping 
people to understand the nature of a living thing, is, I think 
you will say, the very worst and most inappropriate ever 
suggested one that, as you will perceive, must be rejected, 
not only because it is quite inapplicable, but because the 
thing with which a living being is compared is so distorted 
and so changed that it is no longer what it has been called 
nay, in the terms adopted it is not even conceivable by the 
imagination. This last thing which it has been said a living body 
is like is called an army, but, as I shall show you, some essen- 
tial characteristics of an army have been taken away, and some 
impossible characteristics arbitrarily added, which would 
reduce a hypothetical army to that which could no longer be 
correctly termed an army; and as some of the characters super- 
added are absolute impossibilities of nature, the whole com- 
parison comes to little more than incongruous, unintelligible 
metaphor, or incoherent rhapsody, which may amuse the 
fanciful and thoughtless, but which ought to be condemned 
by all capable of thinking, as extravagant and misleading, 
and as likely to hasten the decadence of thought. 

Let me beg of you not to allow the mind to be diverted by 
fanciful comparisons and asserted resemblances of the living 
to the non-living, from the careful consideration of the real 
differences between that which is alive and that which is not 
alive. This question of difference or resemblance between 
vital and physical will be found to underlie some of the most 
important speculations of our time, and I cannot too earnestly 
draw your attention to the very great importance of insisting 
that the facts and arguments advanced by materialists should 
be clearly stated so that they may be thoroughly sifted, and 
fairly discussed, instead of vague assertions in favour of wide 
generalisations being accepted without examination or inquiry. 
If examined not a few of the conclusions will, I am sure, be 
dissipated at once, for they will not stand the test of careful 
analytical exposition. 

It is not to the credit of the science, or the philosophy, or 
even the common-sense of our day, that broad and far-reaching 
doctrines of the kind alluded to, and which involve inferences 
of transcendent consequence concerning the present, past, and 
future of all things, should be accepted without examination, 
taught far and wide even to babes, and presented in a clever 
and inviting guise, and made to appear as if they were actual 
and generally received truths, to be accepted by all who wish 
to be considered to be progressing with the times, while in 
reality the doctrines in question are mere conjectural opinions 
founded on vague and insufficient data, with nothing whatever 
to recommend them save authoritative assertion. Such doc- 
trines would have little chance were it not for love of extrava- 
gant novelty, and the decline of thought. 

It must, I think, be admitted that in science, as well as in 
some other departments of human endeavour, there is at this 
time far less freedom of thought as well as of discussion than 
is necessary for intellectual progress. Heal advance is in these 
days too often thwarted by cliques and caucuses whose chief 
business it seems to be to manufacture " public opinion/' to 
create " tendencies of thought," and thus prevent, or render 
nugatory, the intelligent examination and criticism of the 
doctrines established and spread. Besides this, the prejudices 
of the unlearned are sometimes flattered, and the applause and 
indolent acquiescence of mere numbers eagerly sought for. 
Many of those who support materialistic doctrines, are too 
lazy to think over the principles upon which the doctrines 
they are persuaded to accept are based, nor are they able to 
estimate the consequences which the general adoption of such 
speculations would involve. The exercise of a sort of terror- 
ism has led to people being frightened into a sort of confession 

of faith in some absurd dogmas, the threatened penalty for 
refusal being that of being numbered amongst the fools, the 
bigots, the orthodox, and the like. 

Some who accept fancies of the most conjectural character 
as new articles of belief, which involve the abandonment of 
old truths as well as the sacrifice of firm bulwarks of belief, 
seem to reluctantly yield a regretful, but conscientious 
submission to the stern dictates of truth, and pose as if 
they were exercising a self-denying virtue, possibly not 
unalloyed with pity, nor quite free from contempt for those 
who still hopefully cling to the beliefs of their fathers. Never- 
theless, if you will take the trouble to thoroughly investigate 
the principles of the new faith, you will be convinced that all 
that can be obtained by the most careful analytical examina- 
tion of the foundations upon which different forms of new 
materialism rest, are dogmas about forces and properties, 
hypotheses as to what may be, or might be, or must be, and 
a robust faith, which you are requested to have, in wonderful 
discoveries which are to be made after the lapse of some time 
by privileged spirits who, it is asserted, will make their 
appearance in the future. 

That a materialistic and antitheistic view of things may pre- 
sent itself to some minds, and assume what seems to be a 
reasonable form is, however, possible; but the pretentious 
vapourings in philosophical phraseology familiar to us, and 
which are supposed to tend towards that by not a few much- 
to-be-desired consummation, are often but a poor parody on 
materialism, and a real disgrace to the critical and reasoning 
power of our time. Some of the assertions which have been 
made about the properties and potencies of matter, and which 
are repeated even in text-books, would not survive candid 
answers to the questionings of a curious schoolboy. 

The popular scientific doctrines of the last few years all 
seem to admit some vague, imaginary, non-existing first cause, 
of which neither the nature nor the attributes have been 
defined, and which is placed at such a remote distance in 
time from the present era, that in us it can hardly excite more 
interest than the possibility of a shadowy phantom in an all- 
pervading primitive mist. There seems to be a fanciful con- 
ception of material atoms being evolved from the void ; but it 
is, of course, useless to ask why, when, or how ? By one 
supreme mysterious fiat, or effort, beyond, above, and inde- 
pendent of all law, eternal forces and properties were conferred 
upon these atoms, I suppose, at the moment of their evolution 
from the nothing, by virtue of which they restlessly gyrate. 
The vibrations communicated to atoms by the first impulse then 


came underlay andin obedience to laws supposed to have been 
enacted in the first beginning, still continue their movements, 
and being acted upon by, and acting upon other atoms, actions 
of the most complex character are established. Gradually 
these actions are supposed to take the form of life, and as the 
ages have rolled on, living forms have assumed a higher 
character until, at last, the evolution of man himself was con- 
summated. Of all things the farthest removed from the re- 
mote cause of his existence, man, the only being in nature 
longing to know of law, of cause, of consequence, is commanded 
to see grandeur, and more than grandeur in the fanciful sugges- 
tion of a creator of molecules of cosmic vapour out of which 
earth and air and water, and every form of matter, non-living 
and living, were, according to the hypothesis, gradually formed, 
or evolved themselves in obedience to some compulsory arrange- 
ment, or not to be accurately defined necessity, or "law," 
supposed to have been enacted for once and for all by the 
Creator in the first beginning, and still causing everything 
and operating on everything up to this very day. 

The materialist needlessly, and without reason or, rather, 
against reason, as it appears to many sneers at the want 
of enlightenment of past generations, and in his own 
dogmatic and self-confident, infallible way expounds the 
materialistic views of the existing order of things ; extols 
the tendencies of what he calls the thought of his time, 
by which he seems to mean materialistic dogma, and 
prophecies concerning the proofs of the truth of his teach- 
ings which are to be discovered by unborn materialistic 
investigators. His hearers listen with wrapt and unquestion- 
ing reverence to his vague and extravagant utterances. They 
cannot doubt; they dare not think. Have not gifted me- 
chanisms of the highest culture spoken ? have not privileged 
spirits of transcendent power prophesied ? Who, then, tit to 
survive, can doubt who dares to disparage the glorious 
grandeur of the universal, ever-moving molecular mechanism? 

How often are we enjoined with austere solemnity not to 
resist the influence of the cold logic of materialistic science ? 
We shall be spurned by many, but we must be encouraged by 
the conviction that we are acquiring material truth, and 
sustained by the consolation that, though we may be looked 
down upon, we may feel certain that we alone are right. We 
are not only told how we, must look at nature, but precisely 
what we are to see is most accurately described, exactly as it 
has been discerned by the materialistic intellect and caused to 
assume a form fit to be received by the people at large. The 
moving forces and molecular mechanisms have been revealed, 


Nature, herself has been discovered. And a very pretty 
nature, indeed, is the materialistic nature which has been 
embodied by authority, and held up for the contemplation and 
admiration of mankind. Instead of the benign nature of the 
Epicurean, which gave to all, which made all, and which pro- 
vided for all, we have a benighted nature in the shape of a 
blind, insatiable, relentless, irresistible fate, falsely called 
law working like a dull, senseless machine of overwhelming 
might, maiming, crushing, distorting, destroying, and thus 
continuing and preserving, destitute of intelligence and 
reason, devoid of justice and mercy. A nature not con- 
tributing to the happiness or enjoyment of any, working 
upon a world peopled with machines and continued by the 
destruction of the products of ever-recurring, ever-failing, 
unintelligent, undesigned experiment. A nature whose law is 
in part worked out by length and strength of tooth and claw ; 
a nature which must be detested by the good, and despised 
by all who can think, and see, and reason. Such is the natural 
world which is held up for our admiration with the consoling 
assurance of dictatorial authority that it sprang from chaos in 
obedience to everlasting self-originating (?) law, and that it will 
return to chaos, in obedience to the same, all life and work 
and thought being but the undulations of cosmic nebulosity, 
and dependent upon the never-ceasing gyrations of infinite, 
everlasting atoms, as they bound through the ages from void 
to void. 

This, the dullest, the narrowest, the most superficial of all 
creeds materialism, which includes some mixture of anti- 
theism and atheism of various forms and hues has been half 
accepted by hundreds of persons during the last few years. 
I believe all materialistic doctrines, vary as they may in detail, 
will be found to agree in accepting as a truth if, indeed, they 
are not actually based on it the monstrous assumption that 
the living and the non-living are one, and that every living 
thing is just as much a machine as a watch, or a windmill, or 
a hydraulic apparatus. 

According to the material contention, everything owes its 
existence to the properties of the material particles out of 
which it is constructed. But is it not strange that it never 
seems to have occurred to the materialistic devotee that neither 
the watch, nor the steam-engine, nor the windmill, nor the 
hydraulic apparatus, nor any other machine known to, or made 
by, any individual in this world, is dependant for its construc- 
tion upon the properties of the material particles of the matter 
out of which its several parts have been constructed ? Who 
would think of asserting that in the properties of brass and 


iron or steel we shall find the explanation of the construction 
of a watch ? It has been often affirmed in positive and dic- 
tatorial language that the formation of the animal is due to 
the properties of the particles of which its body is composed. 
There can be no doubt that of late years there has been an 
intense desire on the part of many people to be assured that 
there was no absolute or essential difference between the 
changes taking place in living things and in non-living matter, 
and this idea is supposed to add grandeur to the conception of 
the unity of universality. The desire has been abundantly grati- 
fied. The assertion has been made again and again, and it is 
being continually repeated and emphasised, but, strange to say, 
some incredulous sceptics doubt whether, after all, the assertion 
is literally true. They listen, they admire, they repeat ; they 
even try to persuade themselves and others that the assertion 
is true, but still they doubt. Many, though they are assured 
of the analogy between hammered iron giving out heat and 
the brain, sensation, are not quite convinced. The too frequent 
repetition of a scientific statement seems to beget doubt in 
sceptical minds concerning its accuracy. If, as it should do, 
the doubt excites a determination to carefully examine the 
foundation upon which the doctrine of the identity of physical 
and vital phenomena rests, the conviction of the utterly un- 
tenable character of the hypothesis will be forced upon the 
mind of the inquirer, who will afterwards be on the side of 
the opponents of the faith in the unity of non-living and 

Many persons of intelligence cannot but admire materialistic 
unity, and are anxious to be convinced that the non-living and 
living are really one, and that the phenomena of the living 
world are due to the properties of matter as much as are those 
of the non-living world. The simplicity of the idea is con- 
vincing. Persons of this persuasion do, in fact, accept 
materialism in faith, but, above all things, they desire that 
their doubting faith should be fortified by robust reason. The 
desire has not been gratified, and, in fact, not a few are 
troubled by doubt. Those who think over the matter do not 
wholly believe, though they wish they could believe that they 
are mere machines. They cannot call to mind any machine 
which grows as they have grown, while all the machines they 
know anything about have been made in pieces, which have 
been put together afterwards. 

,When people begin to think they will soon see how absurd 
it is to maintain that growth and the actions going on in living 
beings are due to the properties of the particles of matter of 
which their bodies are composed. A little reflection will make 


it obvious enough that neither the formation nor the action of 
the watch, or the steam-engine, or the windmill can be due to 
the properties of the matter of which the machine is made, but 
that formation and action depend upon the manner in which 
the parts are fashioned and put together and made to work. 
And, of course, the suggestion will occur to those who think 
that if all these machines were to be destroyed and pounded 
to pieces, the matter would still retain its material properties; 
although no one could then discover that it had ever taken 
the form of a watch, or an engine, or a windmill, any more 
than a chemist from a thorough examination of the mere matter 
and its properties would be able to premise that it would one 
day take the windmill, watch, or other form. But however 
severely faith in materialism may be shaken by thought, its 
admirers may take comfort in the consideration that, although 
to their uninformed intellects much may seem doubtful, un- 
certain, and strange, the high priests of materialism could 
unquestionably explain all, and make everything clear, if they 
deemed it desirable and to the advantage of the millions to 
do so at this time. The final and complete materialistic 
revelation is to come in good time. 

" Protoplasm " and " Physical basis of Life " have entered 
into many dictations! utterances, and the words must by this 
time be familiar to every one. But if we endeavour to ascer- 
tain the exact meaning which is attached to the words, and 
try to make an accurate estimate of their value with regard to 
the new light supposed to have been thrown by their use upon 
the question of the nature of life and the relation of non-living 
to living matter, we shall find that our task- is not an easy 
one. Protoplasm, it is said, is the physical basis of life. The 
moving matter in the hair of a nettle, or in a cell of vallisneria, 
the moving matter of the body of an Ameeba or a white-blood 
corpuscle, white of egg, boiled white of egg, muscle, roasted 
and boiled muscle, boiled lobster, are, it has been said, com- 
posed of protoplasm and constitute the physical basis of life. 
Upon the molecular changes taking place in these different 
forms of matter, life, it has been affirmed, depends, and all of 
them, it is said, are composed of "molecular mechanisms." 

No ore can attentively study the statements, and apply his 
mind to the examination of the assertions which have been 
made, without observing that the same name, protoplasm, is 
applied to matter in essentially different states. Living matter 
is called protoplasm ; dead and boiled and roasted matter is 
also called protoplasm. Living matter, dead matter, and 
roasted matter are all the physical basis of life. That which 
is not only dead, but has been dead for a long time, is the 


basis of life. The matter of a living tiring which is alive at 
the time is also a " physical bas-is." That which is alive is a 
physical basis of life, and that which is dead is equally a 
physical basis of life. Such is the reply made to the question, 
What is the difference between living matter and the same 
matter which has ceased to live? Such is the method by 
which it is shown that the difference between the living and 
the non-living is not a difference in kind, but in degree only. 
Such is the method by which people have been misled and 
confused. It is, of course, mere idle trifling of the most 
transparent character. But few persons have taken the 
trouble to carefully examine the statements with the object of 
discovering exactly what was the meaning the author intended 
to convey. Many, perhaps the majority of readers, are 
content to catch the words, without troubling themselves to 
ascertain what meaning ought properly to be attached to 
them. Perhaps they feel much confused, and not liking even 
to think disrespectfully of the writer, they persuade them- 
selves that the full consideration of the question is beyond 
the province as well as the capacity of busy people engaged 
in the ordinary work of life, and that, therefore, they must 
accept without inquiry the assertions, as the authoritative 
utterances of gifted spirits. 

Such views would have little chance of being received, 
or even tolerated, had they not been advanced at a time 
which was remarkable for the decline of thought, and for 
the dislike or fear of examining and analysing authoritative 

The phrase " undifferentiated protoplasm," as contrasted 
with " differentiated protoplasm/' is now often used. Children 
are asked questions about it in elementary examinations, and 
yet no exact meaning has been given by any one to the terms, 
and the sense in which the words are often used is incorrect. 
The " differentiation " of protoplasm is one of the cant 
terms of the time, and is supposed to explain a great deal, 
while it only deceives and contuses ; for instead of differentia- 
tion being an explanation of change, or the cause of change, 
as is implied, it is really only a way of stating a fact. If it 
is correct to call the undifferentiated matter protoplasm, it 
cannot be correct to call the differentiated matter by the same 
name, because the first exhibits phenomena absolutely distinct 
from any manifested by the last. 

-Let us endeavour to keep clearly before our minds the para- 
mount importance of the answer given by the science of our 
time to the question, " What is the difference between living 
matter and the same matter in the dead state ? " If it can 


be proved, as declared in many scientific dictatorial utterances, 
that the difference is molecular, mechanical, or chemical in 
its nature, then must things living be included in the same 
category as non-living matter. The living and non-living in 
that case will truly be one; then would be established the 
much longed-for Unity; then would materialism rest on an 
intelligible basis, and constitute the foundation of a popular 
if not a progressive creed. 

But the science of our day has given no answer of the kind. 
On the contrary, all investigations so far carried out lead to in- 
ferences of an opposite tendency. So far from the gradations 
asserted to exist having been proved, not a vestige of anything 
tending towards proof has been discovered. No difference in 
kind so consummate, no divergence in property so wide or so 
absolute, can be pointed out in nature, as the difference which 
subsists between a minute particle of matter in the living and 
the same in the dead state. The difference remains to this 
day as irreconcileable, inestimable, absolute, in every sense 
as it ever was; while there is no reason to suppose the 
difference will be less in time to come. 

Now, let me ask you to consider for a moment the move- 
ments which affect every form of living matter while it is alive, 
which cease with its death never to recur, and which are 
absolutely different from any movements of non-living matter 
which are known. In many instances so active are these 
movements that they can be seen and studied under the 
microscope by any one who chooses to take a little trouble. 
Although the observer may not be a trained microscopist, he 
will see enough to satisfy him that the movements are not like 
those of any ordinary matter. It is true that movement occurs 
in all kinds of matter non-living as well as living, but the 
movements of the molecules of non-living matter are one 
thing, those of living matter another thing altogether. The 
former belong to matter as matter, and occur in the particles 
whether alive or dead. The latter continue only as long as 
life lasts. It has been authoritatively declared that living 
movements differ from non-living movements in degree only, 
and not in kind. But any one who studies the movements of 
living matter soon becomes convinced that they are different 
in kind from any non-living movements, inasmuch as they 
begin and cease under circumstances which would not affect 
the movements of non-living matter, while the very matter 
which exhibits the living movements will exhibit non-living 
movements after it has ceased to live. The materialistic doc- 
trine of life, instead of resting upon facts of observation and 
experiment, rests upon assumptions of the most extravagant 


kind, and the facts of nature are too often distorted and made 
to bend to the requirements of artificial and ridiculous creeds 
resting on authority only. 

Thoughtful persons must be surprised that the constant 
repetition, without any attempt at proof, of such assertions as, 
that all living things are mechanisms, mere machines, and 
that in the living matter of their bodies there is molecular 
machinery does not of itself lead to the exposure of the 
extreme weakness of the materialistic view. For is it reasonable 
to suppose that the ardent advocates of materialistic doctrine 
would be content with vain repetitions if they could explain 
and illustrate their assertions so as to make them intelligible ? 
Would they not offer remarks concerning the sort of machinery 
they say exists ? Would they not tell us how it appeared, some- 
thing about its structure, the way in which it was put together, 
the mode in which it was dissolved and renovated, the means 
by which it was made 'to act ? Would they not have something 
to suggest concerning the forces or powers by which the work- 
ing of the machinery was directed, and the probable source of 
these, as well as their ultimate fate ? Would they not, if they 
could have done so, have given diagrams of the molecular 
machinery of their imagination for the instruction and edi- 
fication of their less learned and weaker brethren ? But 
instead of this, all that men of this persuasion' seem able 
to do is to repeat again and again the same monstrous 
assertions, That living matter and non-living matter differ 
only in degree, and that the action of living matter is 
due to molecular machinery. But besides giving to non- 
living matter molecular machinery, the capacities and powers 
which the living alone possesses are sometimes given to the 
molecules of inorganic matter. Professor Huxley, for example, 
goes so far as to affirm that these inorganic molecules have 
the power of " sensitively adjusting themselves." Indeed, 
one would not be surprised if it were discovered that certain 
molecules which had acquired advantages over others, arranged 
themselves in such positions as would enable them most 
successfully to jostle weaker molecules and take the places 
they were the fittest to occupy. 

That such vague notions should be accepted by any but a 
few enthusiasts who knew nothing of the facts would be sur- 
prising; but that such very imperfectly considered conclusions 
should be accepted by many and become really popular, indi- 
cates that there is somehow a demand for them a desire or 
determination on the part of people to receive them a longing 
to believe them, and a conviction that they will be proved to 
be true a determination to rely upon mere authoritative 


declarations, and to have their thinking done for them instead 
of thinking for themselves. Such are some of the indications 
of a decline of thought. 

The public are now-a-days assured that the phenomena of 
the living world are due, not to life, but to the molecular 
constitution of the matter of which the bodies of living things 
are composed. Ere long, however, people will find that little 
consolation, or information, is to be gained from the molecular 
constitutions that may be, and then they will perhaps be con- 
tent to be brought face to face with the facts as they are, and 
will see that the conclusion, That matter became endowed with 
vital power after, and perhaps very, very long after it had 
acquired its molecular constitution, is more in accordance 
with the facts of nature than the assumption, That all living 
forms are due to non-living properties, and that no powers 
whatever have been communicated to matter and no direct 
metabolic influence exerted, since its first creation. 

It is not now easy to get a hearing for arguments in favour 
of views concerning the nature and action of living things 
which in any way conflict with what happens to be the current 
opinion of the time. The educated public has much to answer 
for as regards the unmeasured support it has for years past 
given to speculative thought of a most one-sided character, as 
well as for the tyranny it has permitted and encouraged, and 
still allows to be exercised towards any who put forward con- 
clusions which happen to be opposed to the fashionable 
dogmas of the day. 

Can applause or great popularity afford any excuse for the 
unfair way in which many popular authorities have put the 
question of vital actions in living things before their hearers. 
The alternative view is almost invariably represented as an 
absurdity, or a perverse misrepresentation of the facts. The 
extent to which mere intellectual trickery is carried in these 
days is marvellous ; but so few people think over what is 
affirmed by teachers very popular at the time, that the most 
astounding absurdities receive a sort of acquiescence, and long 
escape the exposure they deserve. Those who differ from 
materialists are credited with believing in all sorts of nonsense, 
and are said to stand upon the ancient ways, while, in point 
of fact, these professors of materialism in their style, in their 
method of procedure, in what they teach as new are truly 
most antiquated, for they are really trying to make the world 
go back more than two thousand years, in order that it may 
gain the inestimable advantage of reverting to a faith com- 
pared with which Mahometanism is advanced, indeed. 

In his address to the medical congress, Professor Huxley 


tells the assembled medical and scientific men that 
" the simplest particle of that which men in their blind- 
ness are pleased to call 'brute matter/ is a vast aggre- 
gate of molecular mechanisms performing complicated 
movements of immense rapidity and sensitivity (/) adjusting 
themselves to every change in the surrounding world. Living 
matter differs from other matter in degree and not in kind ; 
the microcosm repeats the macrocosm, and one chain of causa- 
tion connects the nebulous original of suns and planetary 
systems with the protoplasmic foundation of life and organ- 

Professor Huxley has been continually propounding and 
putting forward conjectural utterances of the kind during the 
last twenty years, and it is surely now time that something 
more substantial should be brought forward in support of the 
dogmas than conjectural chains of causation. Just think over 
the paragraph 1 have read, and try to extract from it any 
sense it may contain. We are told that " the protoplasmic 
foundation of life and organisation" is connected with "the 
nebulous original of suns and planetary systems/' by "one 
chain of causation." Can an individual be found who will 
undertake to defend or to expound these nebulous utterances? 
If they amuse, they will certainly delude and mislead an 
audience. Here is an example of what is considered good for 
the purpose of advancing scientific education. That talk of 
this kind should be deemed likely to enlighten the medical 
profession, or assist in any way to advance medical education, 
is most extraordinary. 

It is not pleasant to have to differ from Professor Huxley, 
for not only has he a multitude of enthusiastic admirers, but 
he is himself a master in the use of verv robust language, par- 
ticularly when he deigns to refer to people who do not agree 
with him. Some who are unable to accept as the exact truth 
what he affirms to be truth, have been spoken of as bigots, 
and it is possible that some other epithets may yet be found, 
to still more decidedly characterise people who are opposed to 
his doctrines. Only the other day it was said that a truth 
which, according to Mr. Huxley, had been ' ' trodden under 
foot, reviled by bigots, and ridiculed by all the world," is 
"only hated and feared (!) by those who would revile but dare 
not!" Professor Huxley likes the word "revile." To say 
that people who differ from you revile you, is, undoubtedly, 
- an ingenious way of getting out of a great difficulty. When 
you are asked to explain what you mean by some very con- 
fident dictatorial utterance, and if you feel that you cannot do 
so, there is nothing like accusing your opponent of reviling. 


Any evolutionist who has a question put to him which it is 
inconvenient to answer, and which it would be imprudent on 
his part to discuss, is " reviled." But whatever the conse- 
quences, I shall venture to make some remarks on a few of 
Professor Huxley's recent utterances, even at the risk of being 
also condemned as a reviler. 

What do you think of the attempt to convince people of the 
similarity or identity or close relationship between non-living 
matter and living matter, by calling a non-living particle and 
a living particle a " molecular mechanism," and by further 
asserting that non-living matter can be resolved into " mole- 
cular mechanisms," and that living matter will also be resolved 
into "molecular mechanisms ? " Huxley tells the Medical 
Congress that matter is an aggregate of " molecular mechanisms 
performing complicated movements of immense rapidity, and 
sensitively adjusting themselves (!) to every change in the sur- 
rounding world." But fancy giving to a particle of lead or 
iron this power of " sensitively adjusting itself." Is there any 
one in the world, besides Professor Huxley, who would apply 
such language to non-living matter ? By giving to the non- 
living the attributes peculiar to the living, Professor Huxley 
succeeds, according to his own satisfaction, in breaking down 
the contrast between living and non-living matter ; but will 
any one else believe that anything of the kind has been done ? 

Is it not almost a disgrace to the thought of our time that 
such transparent fallacies and absurd misrepresentations 
should not only be allowed to pass without comment, but 
receive the sanction and approval of many scientific men? 
Again, Professor Huxley tells the Medical Congress that vital 
actions are " nothing but changes of place of particles of 
matter." What vital action in this world is nothing but a 
change of place in particles of matter ? The statement seems 
not only unsound, but unfair. To say that any vital action 
is nothing but a change of place of material particles is surely 
absolutely incorrect, for not only are all vital actions much 
more than this, but physical actions are more. It is obviously 
the something more than mere change of place that makes the 
difference between one form or kind of action and another. 
If there was nothing but change of place, it is clear there 
would be but one action in the universe, instead of infinite 
variety of action. 

Qualities and properties are by materialistic authorities 
attributed to matter or denied to matter, as may be conve- 
nient ; but any attempt to explain the difference between a 
particle of living matter and the same matter when it has 
ceased to live, is carefully avoided. It is suggested that the 


only difference is a difference in the rate or degree of activity 
of the molecular mechanisms of which matter dead and matter 
roasted and boiled, living, not living, of every kind and form, 
and in every state, is composed. The matter which consists 
of molecular mechanisms includes, of course, simple and com- 
pound substances. Iron, oxygen, a particle of roast mutton, 
and a particle of living matter, are all included in one 
category. All consist, according to Professor Huxley, of 
molecular mechanisms ; but the molecular mechanisms of some 
of these things must consist of more elements than those of 
others, and the mechanisms of the living protoplasm are surely 
capable of movements of a character totally different from 
those of the oxygen.' Moreover, it is certainly remarkable 
that the molecular mechanisms of all forms of "protoplasm" 
should contain the same four elements. By abstracting one 
or more of these, the molecular mechanisms of protoplasm 
would be destroyed, and yet molecular mechanisms of some 
kind or other would remain. Mr. Huxley does not tell us how 
we are to distinguish the simple molecular mechanisms from 
compound molecular mechanisms, nor how the molecular 
mechanisms of a simple substance like lead differ from those 
of a compound like his protoplasm. It would seem that the 
molecular mechanisms of lead are, according to this hypothesis, 
as much alive as the molecular mechanisms of living proto- 
plasm, but that the latter are more active than the former. 
They differ in degree, but not in kind. 

Professor Huxley must surely have formed a rather low 
estimate of the intelligence and critical power of the medical 
profession, to expect them to be convinced by him that the 
only difference between living matter and non-living matter, 
is a difference of degree. He asserts that there are compli- 
cated movements in the matter of which all living and all 
non-living matter consists. And without one word of expla- 
nation as to what he means, he tells an audience, consisting of 
highly-educated men from every part of the world, that " the 
microcosm repeats the macrocosm, and that one chain of 
causation connects the nebulous original of suns and planetary 
systems with the protoplasmic foundation of life and organisa- 
tion." Is thought, I would ask, to be silenced by such 
nebulous nonsense as this ? So i'ar from anything like a 
chain of causation having been shown, not two links. oi such 
supposed chain have yet been discovered. But the whole chain 
of* causation which connects nebulous originals of suns and 
planets with protoplasmic foundations is of so nebulous 
a nature that it scarcely deserves notice. " The microcosm 
repeats the macrocosm," says Professor Huxley ; but the more 


this metaphorical utterance is thought over, the more difficult 
does it seem to be to get any definite meaning out of it. 
What particular minute living thing or microcosm is in the 
least degree like the world, or like the universe ? In what 
respects, for instance, does a monad or an ameeba resemble the 
world ? Surely it is time that people of intelligence should 
really consider what is gained by vague utterances like the 
above. We have had during the last fifteen or twenty years 
no end of materialistic suggestions, prophecies, and pro- 
mises, but little besides incoherence and inaccuracy have as 
yet been established. One wonders what the representatives 
of medical science of all nations thought when they were 
assured that the microcosm repeats the macrocosm, and 
what meaning was attributed to these words by those who 
heard them. 

The word " like " has been very curiously employed by 
many physical authorities, and, strange to say, in many 
assertions to which I could point, " unlike " would be nearer 
to the exact truth, as, for example, in the following dicta, 
unlike ought to be substituted for like : Man is like a 
machine ; man is like a monkey ; living matter is like white 
of egg ; a living thing is like a watch, and a windmill, and a 
hydraulic apparatus ; the body is like an army. Now, if any 
one will point out the respects in which these things are alike, 
T have no doubt some one will be found who will point out 
in what respects they are unlike, and then the public will be 
able to decide which of the two words : like or unlike is more 

" Vital phenomena," says Professor Huxley, " like (!) all 
other phenomena of the physical (!) world, are resolvable 
into matter and motion." Here, as in many other cases, 
Professor Huxley begs the question. The assertion that 
vital phenomena belong to the physical world is not to be 
justified by demonstrated facts. No purely physical pheno- 
mena are like any purely vital phenomena. How can vital 
action be of the physical world when it appears and dis- 
appears, while the matter with its physical properties still 
remains ? Between the motion of the particles of living 
matter and the motion of particles of non-living matter 
there is all the difference imaginable an essential, an abso- 
lute, af\ irreconcilable difference. Materialists, of course, 
assume and assert the contrary ; but, instead of wasting time 
by assertions, why do they not adduce an example of move- 
ments occurring in some form of non-living matter exactly 
resembling those which occur in living matter ? Much of our 
scientific teaching is now intensely and ridiculously dicta- 


torial. Instead of persuading people to consider and admire 
natural phenomena, and to think over the wonders around 
them, some scientific authorities think to spread their views, 
by threatening to place all who do not agree with them in a 
class, in which nobody likes to be included, however large it 
may be. 

Professor Huxley, with that curious partiality for contra- 
dictory statements which distinguishes many of his utter- 
ances, condemns in one place the idea of an "indivisible 
unitary archseus dominating from its central seat the parts of 
the organism," and in another tells us that "the body is a 
machine of the nature of an army." Every army to be of 
any use must, of course, be under a head of some kind or 
other, but Mr. Huxley's army has no general or indivisible 
unitary archseus of any kind. Each soldier is, I suppose, to 
govern himself under inexorable laws enacted when everything 
was in the state of primitive nebulosity. The army of Professor 
Huxley is, as we shall see, the most marvellous of all nebulous 
machinery yet discovered by materialists. 

Now let us admit for a moment that the body may be com- 
pared to a " machine " of the nature of an army. How does 
the comparison help us to understand the nature of the body ? 
For is not the army actually composed of a number of 
machines of the very same kind as that body machine which 
is said to be like it ? What, therefore, can be gained by the 
comparison ? Obviously nothing would be gained by telling 
people who wanted to learn about the nature of a sheep 
that it was like a flock of sheep. But the body is a machine 
of the nature of an army, and the microcosm contains the 
macrocosm, and, therefore, possibly the body, according to 
Huxleyan logic, contains the army. But I mav be wrong, for 
it is not an army, but a machine of the nature of an army. 
We have machines of the nature of a watch, machines of the 
nature of a windmill, and machines of other natures, but the 
machine which the body is like, is of the nature of an army. 
But this last "machine" is essentially different from all the 
other machines because it is composed of living men while 
machines in general consist of non-living materials. In 
short, Professor Huxley uses the word machine just as he 
uses the word protoplasm in speaking of that which is living 
as well as of that which is not living ! 

But Mr. Huxley's " machine of the nature of an army " 
shall be further examined. It will be found to be very 
peculiar indeed, whether it is compared with machines or 
with armies. The army of Professor Huxley would not be 
recognised as an army by any general, or by any soldier in 


existence. This remarkable army has " its losses made good 
by recruits born in camp." This is an excellent idea for in- 
creasing the number of soldiers, and may be recommended to 
the War Office. 

In the body " each cell is a soldier," says Mr. Huxley. If 
so, I suppose each cell has the power of acting, of displaying 
intelligence, of obeying the word of command, and carrying 
out the orders of the general. In a few sentences further on, 
as well as in many papers he has written, he deprecates this 
view altogether, and talks about vital actions being " nothing 
but changes of place of particles of matter," and he looks 
forward to " the analysis of the living protoplasm itself into 
a molecular mechanism." The body he regards as " a syn- 
thesis of innumerable physiological elements," each of which 
may be described "as protoplasm susceptible of structural 
metamorphosis and functional metabolism." 

After all our work, all our chemical, physical, and micro- 
scopical investigation after all that has been gained by 
most minute and careful anatomical investigation carried on 
for many years, Mr. Huxley comes forward, and in the 
most public manner possible, tells the world that ,the body 
is not like a watch, or a hydraulic apparatus, but an 
army but such an army as never has existed and never 
could exist an army not to be conceived by the imagina- 
tion, an army beyond all powers of reasonable conjecture; 
an army, the fighting power of which would be destroyed 
not only by the birth of its recruits, but by the necessary 
phenomena which would precede that interesting event. 
But, alas, this is not all, for this army of Professor Huxley's, 
strange to say, is unfit to survive, for does he not tell us that 
it is certain of defeat in the long run ! Professor Huxley's 
army is not an army at all, but only an imaginary hetero- 
geneous collection of nebulous impossibilities. It is scarcely 
credible that such suggestions as those I have criticised could 
be seriously made in the presence of hundreds of representa- 
tive medical and scientific men from all parts of the world. 
You will, however, find them on p. 99 of vol. i., of the 
" Transactions of the International Medical Congress." 

And what end is served by such comparisons ? Are we 
taught anything by such incongruous metaphors ? In what 
particular is any living thing like a watch, or a hydraulic 
apparatus, or an army ? There is not one of the ridiculous 
comparisons which have been made which helps any one to 
form an accurate notion of the nature of any living thing in 
existence. Half the utterances of this kind serve but to con- 
fuse and lead the mind away from the truth about life and 


tlie phenomena peculiar to living- things. That all this loose, 
rambling talk concerning questions which can only be deter- 
mined by observation experiment and- reason, should be 
listened to by intelligent persons is but evidence of the decay 
of thought and the general love of submitting to the dictation 
of a tyrannical, materialistic coterie, which, being at this time 
very popular, attempts to arrogantly dominate over sense and 

He who studies any living thing in existence at any period 
of its life, or the smallest portion of any form of living matter, 
will soon be convinced that it would not be correct to say that 
it was like anything else in nature, except some other form of 
living matter. For it will be found that certain phenomena 
which characterised the particular living particle characterise 
all living particles of which we have any knowledge or expe- 
rience. Further investigation will convince an enquirer that 
vital phenomena are not comparable with any phenomena be- 
longing to non-living matter. They are, in fact, peculiar to 
living matter. Between purely vital and purely physical 
actions not the faintest analogy has been shown to exist. The 
living world is absolutely distinct from the non-living world 
and instead of being a necessary outcome of it, is, compared 
with the antiquity of matter, probably a very recent addition 
to it not, of course, an addition of mere transformed or 
modified matter and energy, but of transcendent power 
conferred on matter, by which both matter and its forces are 
controlled, regulated, and arranged according, it may be, to 
laws, but not the laws of inert matter. 

It is not only one or two of the positions assumed by the 
materialist that are open to doubt or objection. The whole 
contention is, and has been during the last twenty years, utterly 
untenable, because facts have been known which completely 
controvert all materialistic views which have been put forward. 
Mere popularity, it need scarcely be said, goes for very little, 
unless the facts and arguments urged in favour of the doctrines 
can be shown to rest upon evidence. Neither is it a question 
of much consequence how confident individuals may be who 
countenance or endorse the hypothesis, That any vital 
action in nature is due to physical forces only. Nor 
can concurrence of opinion on the part of even a large 
society, or a tendency of thought, however marked, be 
accepted as conclusive. What is required is, that the 
arguments advanced in favour of this view should bear the 
test of examination. Instead of this being the case, many 
of these arguments have been over and over again conclusively 
shown to be worthless ; and a critical examination more 


thorough than that to which they have been hitherto submitted 
will certainly be so much the more demonstrative of their 
worthlessness. It is utterly unreasonable to assume, as has 
been continually done, that the laws which govern vital actions 
are the very same laws as those which all non-living pheno- 
mena obey. There is not at this time a shadow of evidence in 
favour of such a contention. It rests only upon pure assump- 
tion, and is one of the most reckless and most unjustifiable of 
the many untenable assumptions to be met with in the history 
of thought. It is opposed to facts of common experience and 
observation, as, for example, the growth upwards of a tree ; but 
this as well as other facts have been explained so as to fall in 
with the assumption. 

It may be freely admitted that if we attribute to vital power 
certain phenomena of the living world, which have not been, 
and cannot be, explained or accounted for by any physical 
laws yet discovered, we thereby assume an agency which we 
are unable to isolate or demonstrate, and the existence of which 
we cannot in any way prove. Ou the other hand, it is only fair 
to observe that, if we assume that phenomena peculiar to life 
will some day be explained by physics, we certainly act in a 
manner which is not sanctioned by science we assume, we 
prophesy, and prophetic assumptions of every kind are contrary 
to the spirit of science. But, if we accept the dicta of many 
popular teachers, and assert that these vital phenomena are, 
indeed, physical, we assent to a proposition which has been 
actually proved untrue, and which has been shown over and over 
again to have no foundation, in fact, experiment, or observation. 
Nevertheless, it may be urged that it is no more incorrect or 
against the spirit of science to assume that a physical explana- 
tion will be discovered at a future time, than to assume that 
the phenomena are due to a force or power which we cannot 
isolate, and the nature of which cannot be demonstrated. 
But is it not in accordance with reason to assume the existence 
of a peculiar power to account for phenomena which are 
peculiar to living beings, which differ totally from any known 
physical phenomena, and which cannot be imitated and is it 
not contrary to reason to prophesy that such phenomena will 
one day be explained by ordinary forces or powers ? Not- 
withstanding all the tremendous efforts which have been 
made by intellects the most robust to persuade themselves 
and others of the promise and potency of the molecular 
mechanisms of their imaginations, up to this very moment, 
nothing which in the least degree justifies their positive asser- 
tions has been discovered. Nothing like a vital phenomenon 
has been explained by physical science or imitated in the 


The simple truth is that the essential phenomena of all 
living beings cannot be explained without recourse to some 
hypothesis of power totally different from any of the known 
forms or modes of energy. Any one who allows his reason 
to be influenced by the facts of nature as at present discovered 
will feel obliged to admit the existence of vital power as dis- 
tinct from, and capable of controlling,, the ordinary forces of 
non-living matter. It has been conclusively shown that the 
laws of vital force or power are essentially different from those 
by which ordinary matter and its forces are governed. My own 
views on this matter, put forward during the last twenty 
years, have, of course, been ignored by materialistic prophets ; 
but it is satisfactory to find that now and then the word vital 
is actually used in speaking of phenomena, not to be explained 
by physics and chemistry, by some scientific men who, never- 
theless, support the doctrine that vital is, after all, but a 
form, or mode of the ordinary physical action of non-living 
matter. The fact is, those who act thus feel the weakness 
of the cause they advocate, and try to hide their confusion 
by vagueness and obscurity of expression. Within a very 
few years, the hypothesis of molecular machinery will probably 
be forgotten, and the operation of vital power, as distinct from 
any ordinary force of matter, will be generally admitted and 

Purely vital phenomena are manifested by every form of 
living matter from the highest to the lowest. They are tempo- 
rarily resident in matter which has been derived from matter 
in the same state, and when once vital phenomena have ceased 
they cannot be caused to recur in the same particles. Although 
it is frequently alleged that there is only a difference of degree 
between the changes in living matter and those in non-living 
matter, no one, as I have stated, has been able to support this 
proposition by facts and arguments, or to adduce one single 
example of matter in any state which illustrates the asserted 
gradations of change from the living to non-living, or from the 
latter condition to living. The more we learn concerning the 
ordinary properties of matter the less probable does it appear 
that these properties will ever be found adequate to account 
for the facts of living. How can any reasonable person 
expect that the disposition of the materials used in the con- 
struction of any apparatus or organism will be adequately 
accounted for by a demonstration of the properties of the 
jnaterials themselves ? Material atoms in living things are 
made to take up certain definite relations with respect to one 
another which no experiment has shown to be due to, or to 
depend upon, properties associated with the matter. Nor 


is it even conceivable that property which is unalterable 
should determine movements and the formation of structures 
which change from time to time, and the form and exact 
character of which last must have been foreseen and prepared 
for from the very beginning. The act of construction, the 
arrangement of material particles according to a definite and 
pre-arranged plan and for a special purpose, can no more be 
attributed to the properties of the matter in the case of a 
living being than in the case of a watch. 

The advocates of materialistic doctrines do not offer a sug- 
gestion as to the precise changes which occur when what they 
deem to be merely a compound substance containing oxygen, 
hydrogen, nitrogen, and carbon, and, possibly, one or more 
other elements, passes from the living to the non-living 
state. The new materialists stand alone among all the sects 
known to history in not being able, nay, in not attempting, 
to establish their views by arguments or to support their 
doctrines by appealing to facts and reason. They content 
themselves with authoritative declarations of the most positive 
and solemn kind, but which, from a scientific and philo- 
sophical standpoint will be pronounced by dispassionate critics 
absurd and contrary to fact, and, therefore, not creditable to 
science. They command people to believe, and encourage 
them to have robust faith, but as for evidence in support of 
their materialistic tenets they have literally none. If people 
generally were acquainted with the facts revealed by the 
microscopic examination of living matter, and would allow 
their minds to be influenced by what they observed they would 
no more believe in the dicta of the materialist than give their 
faith to an authority who declared that the earth was flat. 

The general acceptance of materialistic doctrines is, in 
itself an indication how little thought is given by most 
people in these days to the importance of inquiring into 
the nature of the evidence upon which far-reaching con- 
clusions they too readily receive are supposed to rest. 
People have been misled in times past by false teaching, 
and large numbers have become steeped in ignorance, bigotry, 
and fanaticism. But I do not believe that the most lamentable 
instances on record have led to results more disastrous, or 
more likely to prove injurious to the interests of individuals 
and possibly to nations than this attempt in our own time to 
establish the weakest and worst form of materialism ever ad- 
vanced, is calculated to produce in the future. It is bad 
enough when numbers of people become converts to a system 
founded on truth more or less perverted, or misinterpreted, 
owing to the ignorance or mistaken zeal of its exponents ; but 


the evils resulting are evanescent and harmless indeed as com- 
pared with those which must result from inculcating a system 
which professes to be founded on reason, but which really 
rests upon fictions and arbitrary assertions, a system in 
which fact is appealed to, but is not to be found. Look at it 
how you may, you will not discover the smallest speck of 
firm ground of truth upon which to build any form of the 
materialistic doctrine. The phantom of possible molecular 
mechanisms, confusion between mere energy and the power 
by which it is directed, between a machine and its maker, 
between designing and making in form and order and for a 
purpose, and the mere purposeless piling of particles of matter 
one upon another, or their equally purposeless falling down, 
are a few of the erroneous comparisons frequently made and 
accepted as if they were compatible with reason, and even 
trophies of recent scientific conquest. 

By materialism it is sought to reduce vital phenomena 
to mere attractions, repulsions, affinities, and to annihilate the 
idea of vital power. Materialism can only be sustained by the 
suppression of truths and by ignoring facts that are known, 
and by a most fantastic and reprehensible system of using the 
same word in very different senses, and in applying the same 
term to things which widely differ from one another and even 
exhibit opposite qualities. By intellectual devices which are 
certainly not creditable to intellect, the absolute and irre* 
concilable difference between the non-living, and the living, 
and the dead are ignored by some, and denied by others J 
difference of degree is substituted for absolute difference, while 
identity is not unfrequently made to do duty for diversity^ 
and like is used where not like would be more correct. 


The following remarks upon this subject were made by Professor LIONEL 
S. BEALE, F.K.S., during the discussion on Dr. Wallich's paper* " On the 
Fallacy of the Materialistic Origin of Life," read before the Institute, April 
17th, 1882. 

I propose to offer a few remarks on the view taken by Professor Huxley 
and other scientific men, both here and on the Continent, in reference to the 
very important question of the transition from the non-living to the living. 

* As yet, ill-health has prevented this author completing his paper for 
publication ; but it is hoped that it may form part of No. 64 of the Journal. 


I am quite sure we shall agree that this is really the kernel of this moat 
interesting subject. We are constantly told of the gradual passage from 
the non-living to the living, and the formation of a living thing is often 
spoken of as if the process were something like the change which takes place 
in the formation of crystals. Most authorities who support the material- 
istic hypothesis draw a parallel between the formation of the lowest forma 
of living matter and crystals. Now, it must occur to every one who has at 
all considered the subject of crystallisation, that although there may be 
great difficulty in explaining the exact nature of the process, yet, neverthe- 
less, it is well known that when a certain material is dissolved in fluid 
under certain circumstances, and the solution becomes concentrated, crystals 
are formed. Every tyro in chemistry has, probably, performed the experi- 
ment with common salt ; and every such tyro, after having crystallised 
common salt, has re-dissolved it, and re-crystallised it again and again ; and, 
if he were to go on'crystallising and dissolving to the end of time, he would 
only produce crystals of the same form and the same chemical composition. 
Now, let him try to do this with regard to a living organism. The living 
organism is there. We know that every particle of living matter has come 
from a pre-existing living particle ; but let us endeavour to take ourselves 
back to the time when there existed only the non-living, the inorganic 
matter out of which the living had to be formed according to a method 
as is affirmed somewhat resembling that of crystallisation. The chemical 
compounds that form the living matter oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, and 
carbon are supposed to come together in obedience to certain attractions 
and affinities which these primitive particles possess, but of which we know 
very little ; but let us suppose a living thing is formed. Let us imagine 
the particles brought together in the manner supposed, and that a particle 
of living matter makes its appearance. We examine this particle, and try 
to ascertain its nature, and for this purpose we try, as we have tried 
in the case of the crystal, to dissolve it. What is the result ? We destroy 
it ; we do not dissolve it. (Hear, hear.) It ceases to be living matter 
before solution begins. It is no longer what it was before, and we cannot 
make it so. It has gone ; it has ceased to be what it was, and we are not 
dealing with a living particle, but simply with the material that has resulted 
from the death of that which was before alive. We cannot re-form it. Once 
dead, it is incapable of being re-produced. Therefore, it seems to me a most 
extraordinary thing that some of the greatest authorities in science should 
pretend to compare the formation of living matter with the formation of 
crystals. There is not the slightest analogy, nor the faintest possible parallel, 
no comparison between living things and crystals. There is all the differ- 
ence in the world between the process of crystallisation and the formation 
of living particles, which are supposed by Haeckel, and others who adopt 
his views, to be alike. Whatever may be the marvellous changes that 
occurred in the first formation of living matter, they cannot resemble in the 
slightest degree any phenomena with which we are familiar. There are 
no properties of matter that have as yet been discovered that can give us 


the faintest conception of the nature of the changes which must have taken 
place when the first living thing was formed. With regard to the question of 
complexity and simplicity, of which a good deal has been said, I will just offer 
a few remarks, and will then sit down. It seems to me to have been assumed 
in a most extraordinary way that some forms of living matter are extremely 
simple and that others are extremely complex. I should like to ask what is 
the meaning attached to these terms " simplicity " and " complexity," when 
applied to living matter ] Let us take the monera, said to be among the 
simplest forms of living matter with which we are acquainted. All we can 
see is clear, colourless, transparent, structureless, semifluid matter. Where 
is the evidence that the composition of this is more simple than that of the 
most complex living matter in existence ? Take, for example, the highest 
form of living matter we know the living matter which forms part of the 
brain cells of man himself, for I suppose we cannot conceive anything much 
higher. If we were to assume gradations of complexity and different degrees of 
superiority, we might go as far as to suggest that at any rate the highest and 
most complex living matter is to be found in the grey matter constituting the 
outer part of the human brain. But what is the fact ? The matter we find 
there is no more complex than the living matter of the simplest monad, as far, 
at least, as we know. If we take this brain matter and examine it, we find 
that we can resolve it into certain organic substances, closely allied to the 
albuminous material which Professor Huxley and others call protoplasm, 
although they are not able to define precisely what they mean by the term. 
(Hear, hear.) They are unable to tell us in what way protoplasm differs 
from albumen, and muscle tissue, and a thousand other things. They 
simply make use of a name almost without a meaning. Well, the highest 
conceivable form of living matter, as far as we know, closely accords in its 
composition with the lowest form of living matter ; and, as far as regards 
structure, if we examine that which comes from the highest organism, 
and that which is concerned in the formation of the lowest, no difference 
whatever can be distinguished. It is not that one is more complicated, or 
exhibits a structure different from the other. There is no structure in either. 
Both are perfectly clear, transparent, and structureless, and yet one is con- 
cerned in the performance of certain functions and offices, while the other is 
concerned in the performance of totally different functions and offices. Are 
we, then, to believe that the difference in the functions discharged is due 
merely to the chemical properties of the substances of which the living matter 
is composed ? We cannot do this, because, when we coine to analyse the 
two different kinds of living matter, we find in the material which results 
from their death the same elements. And, if the elements are not in pre- 
cisely the same amounts or in the same proportions to one another, the 
difference which may exist in the composition bears no relation and has no 
reference that can be discovered, either to the difference in action or to the 
different structures which may be evolved from the two different forms of 
living matter. Therefore the terms " simplicity " and " complexity " seem 
to me to be totally inadmissible, and I venture to think that not one 

of those who are in the habit of speaking of simple and complex forms can 
give a rational explanation of what he means by the phrases he employs. 
What is generally meant by the simplest form of living matter is that when 
it attains its highest form of development it is still a simple thing, and what 
seems to be understood by that of the greatest complexity is, that when 
it attains its highest degree of development certain marvellous structures 
are produced ; but when we come to look at the living matter itself there is 
no difference to be discerned by any means of examination yet adopted 
between the two forms. The living matter, which, at the very earliest 
period of his development, represents man, is, as far as I know, not dis- 
tinguishable from the forms of living matter of which the simple bodies 
Dr. Wallich has so lucidly described to us are made up. And therefore 
the difference cannot be chemical. Neither can it be called physical, nor 
mechanical, nor can it be due to difference in machinery or mechanism, for 
none is to be discovered. The difference is enormous, and it is of a most 
remarkable kind, but it is not to be explained by any facts in physical science 
with which we are acquainted. All we know is, that under certain conditions 
one form of living matter grows and produces a certain kind of structure, 
and that under different conditions certain other forms of living matter grow 
and produce a structure that is totally different. The difference between the 
two is not in molecular or chemical constitution. They do not remarkably 
differ in chemical composition, and we may safely say it is impossible thus 
to explain the difference. That is the whole of the matter ; the difference in 
the results cannot be explained by physics or chemistry, and I do not think 
it ever will be so explained. The difference is one which can only be spoken 
of under another term altogether, and this is a word to which many object 
very strongly. I allude to the word " vital." The difference in question is a 
vital difference, dependent not on a property which belongs to matter itself 
as matter, or derived from any properties in connexion with the elements 
which enter into the composition of the living matter. Whether the genera- 
tion of living matter was spontaneous or not cannot be proved, but much 
scientific speculation is built upon the theory of spontaneous generation. 
However necessary such a theory may be to the doctrine of evolution, there 
are no scientific facts which can at all warrant the conclusion that non-living 
matter only, under any conceivable circumstances, can be converted into 
living matter, or at any previous time has, by any combination, or under any 
conditions that may have existed, given rise to the formation of anything 
which possesses, or has possessed, life. (Applause.) 



I propose in as few words as possible to ask those present to consider 
certain views bearing on the first principles of religion and philosophy which 
have exercised during recent years and continue to exercise an extraordinary 
influence upon the opinions held by many persons of intelligence. Acqui- 
escence in the views in question, I think it will be found, involves the 
acceptance of ideas which are not consistent with one another, of doctrines 
which are contradictory, and principles which are incompatible or even 
mutually destructive. To give this fashionable confusion of doubt, denial, 
assertion, assumption, conjecture, prophecy, any name which has been 
already adopted by any philosophic or religious sect that has existed in the 
past, would be unjust, for the conflicting opinions now entertained cannot 
l>e formulated, and it is doubtful whether, among those who have consented 
to adopt them generally and vaguely, any two persons could be found who 
would agree concerning the elementary propositions on which anything like 
a philosophy could be established. Neither of the terms Rationalism, 
Materialism, Agnosticism, is strictly applicable to this most recent and 
most fanciful of all the creeds ever offered for adoption. To call it Rational- 
ism would not be correct, for it does not rest on reason ; indeed, it is neither 
reasonable nor rational. Materialism would be equally inappropriate, and 
no disciple of Epicurus would admit that it at all resembled the doctrine to 
which he had given his adherence. Neither the hypotheses, nor the asser- 
tions, nor the prophecies of the materialist of the new, would be recognised 
or approved by one of the old school. Agnosticism, again, would be a 
complete misnomer, for the advocates of this new philosophy profess to know 
all things and to account for all the phenomena of nature. They tell us not 
only the origin but the end of all. Commencing with cosmic vapour, they 
trace the evolution of all non-living and living, and discern the further 
changes which are to progress through a distant future until all again 
eventuates in cosmic mist. Those who know all this can hardly be denomi- 
nated Agnostics. 

One grand central principle of this new philosophy seems to be the 
assumption that what is not now capable of proof, but is affirmed to be true 
by its exponents, will be proved to be true by new discoveries which we 
are assured will certainly be made at some future time by the scientific 
investigations of that period, among which discoveries is to be the proof 
of the confident assertion now so often repeated, and considered to be a 

* Being an Address delivered in July by the Author, and .specially 
revised by him for the Victoria Institute. It is inserted here by reason 
of its importance. ED. 


cardinal point, that the difference between a living thing and the same thing 
when it is dead, which difference seems to ordinary comprehension so very 
remarkable as to deserve to be called absolute and insurmountable, is but 
a difference in degree. The evidence in support of various conjectures con- 
cerning changes in the properties of material particles and alterations in the 
character and properties of living forms is also supposed to be forthcoming 
at some future time. Upon the fanciful basis thus constructed out of what 
may be discovered in the time to come is raised a strange and grotesque 
superstructure of philosophical speculation, contradiction, and inconsistency, 
perhaps the most curious ever presented for the acceptance and admiration 
of mankind. Amid all the vagaries of the intellect are to be noticed the 
most ardent belief in and superstitious reverence for future hypothetical 

Propositions which from their very nature must depend upon faith are 
rejected by the disciples of the new philosophy as unworthy of belief 
because they cannot be proved by observation, or put to the test of experi- 
ment, or the facts on which they rest be rendered evident to the sense of 
touch, sight, or hearing. On the other hand, things that have not been 
proved by observation, but which are within the limits of observation, 
which have not been demonstrated, but which would have been susceptible 
of demonstration had they really existed, are to be believed and at once 
accepted as literally true, because it has been affirmed by scientific teachers, 
who cannot possibly err, that all things and all phenomena are unquestion- 
ably due to the operation of laws of matter about to be discovered, 
and because certain views concerning things in general, and living things in 
particular, have been accepted by the established intellectual authority of 
the time, from whose decision there is no appeal. 

The vague and most unsatisfactory hypotheses which are often accepted 
and believed in as if they were well-ascertained truths of science would have 
but little chance of acceptance but for the doubt and confusion of thought 
concerning fundamental principles of religion and philosophy which now 
prevail, and which, indeed, may be said to characterise the time in which we 
live. An incomprehensible yearning after breadth of view and an inexpli- 
cable terror of being accused of being bigoted and narrow-minded seem to 
paralyse the judgment and render some of the most intelligent amongst us 
infatuated victims of materialistic inspiration. The longing for ever-increasing 
breadth of view has led to the acceptance and teaching of doctrines which are 
contradictory and in some instances mutually exclusive. Conclusions which 
involve the denial of the existence of God. are not unfrequently accepted at 
this time by persons who profess to believe the Christian faith. Incom- 
patible and contradictory principles have been made to appear to harmonise 
by completely altering the meaning of the words employed, and it is 
doubtful whether any of the original meaning attached to certain most 
important words is now left. The word "God" is often used as if its whole 
meaning was comprised in creative power or first cause ; and, as to the word 
" Christianity," its meaning has been modified in so many ways of late that 


it would be most difficult to determine what is included and what excluded. 
In the time gone by Christian atheism would have been regarded as an 
absolutely impossible form of belief, but would it be quite impossible now 
to find persons ready, perhaps unconsciously, to justify the phrase Atheistic 
Christianity ? 

Some would have us believe that all things living have resulted 
from the working and inter-action of the forces belonging to non-living 
matter only, and expect us to be convinced further that the above view of 
the conversion of the non-living into the living, in obedience to laws which 
govern matter only, is not inconsistent with the acceptance of the belief in 
one creating, designing, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent will. It has 
also been held that a God who only creates the Universe, which he then 
practically abandons, is equivalent to a living God that governs the world 
and ordains everything according as He wills, not only the Maker, but 
the Preserver of all things. But is there no interval between the idea of 
a first cause originally creating matter and enacting laws for its subsequent 
guidance and arrangement, and the idea of an existing, living God who 
governs the world, to whom men may with reason appeal for counsel and 
guidance, whom they may obey, and to whom they are indebted for life, 
and health, and everything ? Does first cause comprise all that men imply 
when they speak of the everlasting living God ? Does creative power and 
law-enaction include all the attributes of the God of man ? If so, it is 
indeed, as has been suggested, a veiy small matter if by modern discovery 
the scene of the operation of the first cause is put back in a past some- 
what more remote from our era than has been hitherto supposed to be 
the time of its activity. For in this case we should undoubtedly have, 
as has been suggested, a first cause to fall back upon, still a creator to 
acknowledge, a law-maker to reverence. But I would ask in all serious- 
ness whether any form of the evolution hypothesis, which dissevers God 
from all that follows upon the primal act of creation, is consistent with 
serious belief in His existence, in fact, belief in a living God? What 
man could worship, pray to, love, or adore such hypothetical first cause 1 
I beg of you to consider whether this conception of the operation of a once- 
creating, once law-enacting first cause in a past inconceivably remote is an 
adequate substitute for the theistic idea which has been held for more than 
two thousand years. However positively some may affirm that the view 
objected to is not atheistic, it must be held to be of this nature unless the 
word is used in a sense which no one who believes in a God could allow. I 
have myself often begged for information concerning the powers and 
attributes of the' God sanctioned by the evolution hypothesis, but so far 
in vain. The suggestion that the idea of continuousness, or the exer- 
cise of power transmitted through matter from the first beginning, or 
the 'continuous extension of working and action of such supposed first cause 
is equivalent to the idea of omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, is 
surely almost an insult to the understanding. Ought not those who care to 
acknowledge such newly-invented first cause, and those who foolishly try to 


force on themselves and others the acceptance of the proposition that the 
views impugned are not atheistic, or only in a very slight degree atheistic, 
to accurately define the powers and attributes of the God they would 
substitute for the God in whom men have hitherto believed ? If this were 
done, we should be able to judge whether it was possible for men in their 
senses to acknowledge such a power, to submit themselves to its guidance, 
to love, honour, and obey it, to worship it, for the God of man demands 
all this and more. Judging from much that has been said and written upon 
this subject during the last few years, it is difficult to come to any other 
conclusion than that the real aim of many who speak and write in favour of 
the new views is to destroy, and within a measurable period of time, belief 
in the existence of the Supreme Being, in Providence, and in a living God, 
and to force those who think at all to endeavour, by the mightiest mental 
effort of which they are capable, to train and exercise their minds by the 
contemplation of an everlasting infinite nothing. Instead of the new 
doctrines being explained in detail, we are assured by patronisers and pro- 
moters of this retrograde nonsense that the reasonings of So-and-so, who 
has, in fact, done what he could to prove there is no God, " are inspired by 
a reverence which is truly religious," and so on, until every one capable of 
thinking must feel weary of such mawkish adulation and misrepresentation 
of fact. Of course, the real question is whether, in such a system as has 
been proposed, any power deserving the name of God is required or could 
possibly find a place, and then what powers the Deity permitted to exist 
possesses. A God without will, without power to arrange, order, design 
according as he wills, can hardly be worshipped by man. For, can 
omnipotence restricted in its operation by inexorable laws be omnipo- 
tent ? Is not the idea of omnipotence and omniscience, testing by experi- 
ment the results of infinite constructive power, worthy of a philosophy 
hereafter to be distinguished, for physical revelations supposed to be about 
to be made, and its rejection of the theistic idea ? 

Much confusion has resulted from the acceptance of fallacies concerning the 
nature of the changes in living matter, and the dictum, not proved nor at 
this time provable, that the living and the non-living are one, governed by 
the same laws and due to the same cause. The chasm between the living 
and the non-living has not been bridged, and it cannot be bridged by idle 
assertions to the contrary and speculations about cosmic vapour, however 
desirous the public may be that the operation of bridging should be accom- 
plished. The form of Materialistic doctrine now popular neither accounts for 
any single operation peculiar to living matter, nor helps us to understand the 
nature of any one. Nothing whatever, I fear, has been added by physical 
science to our knowledge of the real nature of the marvellous change which 
occurs when a material atom passes from the non-living to the living state, 
and becomes an integral part of the very simplest or lowest living matter in 
existence. The nature of this change, which is unquestionably different in 
its essential nature from any known physical change, has not yet been 
elucidated, though it has been over and over again declared that it is 


physical. In spite of all the confident utterances, no one has been able to 
explain, in terms known to physical science, any one of the phenomena 
occurring during any moment of the existence of the simplest living form 
in nature. The pretended physical explanations of growth, of the taking 
up of non-living matter and its conversion into living matter, the formation 
of structures, of organs, of parts made for a purpose, are utterly inadequate, 
while some are puerile, and would be dissipated by five minutes' careful 
consideration on the part of any one who has the requisite knowledge of 
the facts, as far as they are now known. Many of the statements about 
life and living matter will not stand the criticism of an intelligent critic, 
who, though knowing little or nothing of science, will take the trouble to 
find out the meaning of the words and the sense in which they are used, in 
order that he may detect cases in which words are inappropriate, and 
instances in which the same word is used in very different senses perhaps 
in the same page, as, for example, occurs in the use of the word " Proto- 
plasm," which does duty for living matter, as well as for matter in the 
opposite or non-living state. If we could trace the atoms of matter through 
all their changes, until at last they lived, we should understand the nature 
of life, we should be able to lay down the laws by which vital phenomena 
are governed, we should understand the changes in our own bodies, we 
should know ourselves as well as the matter of which our bodies are com- 
posed. But in this case we should have spanned the infinite, solved all 
problems, explained all the mysteries, overcome the theistic idea, and man 
would have become a different being, and would find himself in a new 
position in nature. 

But the changes which take place in the atoms as they flit from non-living 
to living are still unknown, and the probability of our ever knowing their 
real nature becomes less as knowledge advances. Man, notwithstanding all 
scientific discovery and material progress, at least, as far as regards his 
relation to and knowledge of the Infinite, stands much as he did in the 
early days of intellectual evolution. Here, then, is the immeasurable 
difference between the view entertained by us and that held by those who 
accept or incline towards the fashionable philosophy of the period. We 
who believe in the irreconcilable differences between living and non-living 
have been led to conclude that a knowledge of the real nature of the change, 
as well as a knowledge of the power by which the change is wrought when- 
ever a lifeless atom becomes an integral part of living matter, is not to be 
obtained. On the other hand, the supporters of the new philosophy declare 
that all this and much more has been gained, and that much of what yet 
remains imperfectly understood will be brought to light by the advancing 
science of the future. "We hold that such knowledge is not even conceivable 
in thought not cognisable by the human intellect. They declare that the 
discovery of the nature of the vital change is nigh nay, that in some 
respects it may be said that already it has been achieved. "We do not admit 
that the road to such a goal has been found out or the method of proceeding 
which will be successful suggested. They assure the world that wonderful 


things, not to bs seen by ordinary mortals, have been discerned by privi- 
leged spirits. We believe neither in the powers of discernment claimed, 
nor in the being privileged, nor in the spirits. The whole position assumed 
by those who attempt to explain vital actions by physics and chemistry is 
untenable, and the pretentious assumption of knowledge as to what is to 
be revealed by the science of the future degrading to the thought of our 
time. The non-living state of matter is separated from, the living state by 
a chasm which is unfathomable and which has not been, and which never 
can be, bridged, even in thought. The attempts which have been made to 
persuade ignorant people to believe that this has been done, or that it is 
within the bounds of that which is possible, are unjustifiable and antago- 
nistic to the scientific method, and must certainly retard real progress! 

The advocates of Atheism, or of that very nebulous form of Theism which 
logically leads to it, and is, indeed, practically Atheism, have utterly misled 
themselves and others by assuming the truth of the conjecture that the non- 
living and living are one, that matter in the non-living state differs in degree 
only from matter in the living state. They affirm in the most positive and 
reckless manner that this conjecture is a fact. Unlearned, unscientific 
people, believing that men of scientific authority would not have spoken thus 
positively unless they had distinct and irrefragable proof of the statements 
they made, proceed straightway to modify all the views which they had 
been taught in their childhood, abandon as fiction what they believed to be 
truth, and accept as realities the extravagant and fanciful doctrines of that 
scientific imagination which change from year to year, and concerning which 
there is but one thing certain, that they proceed from and will return to 
the nebulous state. People hungering for a reputation for comprehensive- 
ness, large-niindedness, and intellectual grasp, abandon their belief in the unseen 
without even being at the trouble of inquiring whether any evidence or argu- 
ment can be adduced in favour of the new dicta. The sort of argument which 
seems to convince people, of course longing to be convinced, is to be found in 
assertions of the vaguest character about the nebulous originals of suns 
and planets being connected by a chain of causation with the physical basis 
of existing life and organisation. Can it be supposed that it is in any sense 
a valid Excuse on the part of any thinking person to urge that the responsi- 
bility rests with those who teach these doctrines 1 The desire for being 
taught encourages the teachers, and if there was no longing for the doctrines 
of a silly form of science the supply would soon cease. It is surely as much 
the duty of intelligent persons to find out and expose erroneous teaching in 
science as in other departments of human knowledge. If but a very little 
trouble had been taken by some of those well qualified for the task, a good 
deal of nonsense which has excited curiosity, pleased the fancy, and deceived 
the intellect during the last twenty years, would have done no more 
harm than contribute a little intellectual amusement and help to sharpen 
the wits of the rising generation. Every person of intelligence ought to be 
competent to estimate the importance and reliability of reasons given for chang- 
ing or subverting his belief in the fundamental facts of his religion, and most 


would certainly, with far less trouble than they take to enable them to 
decide concerning questions of far less consequence, succeed in doing so. If, 
for instance, it is said that a living thing grows like a crystal, surely before 
the dictum is accepted by any one he would naturally inquire whether the 
new matter taken up by the living thing was deposited particle by particle 
upon the surface as in the crystal. Doubt would at once be excited in his 
mind, for no instance would occur to him in which during growth new 
matter was superposed upon that which was already there, in the case of a 
living thing. The nourishment always goes into the inside of a living 
thing, and is never deposited on its outside, as is the case in the 
crystal when it increases in size. Would it not also occur to him that the 
matter of the crystal can be dissolved and crystals formed again and again 
from the solution, while no living thing can be dissolved at all, much less 
re -crystallised? Such simple considerations would cause doubt to 
rise in his mind whether a living thing does grow like a crystal, 
and the doubt would suggest the expediency of further inquiry. 
He would require, before he accepted the new doctrines, that the 
particular points in which the so - called crystal - growth resembled 
and differed from living-growth should be clearly stated. So far from 
assenting to the proposition that the growth of a crystal was like the growth 
of a living thing, he would find that the increase in size of a crystal was 
not growth at all. So, too, with regard to the likeness said to exist between 
the living and non-living, the particular living and non-living between which 
this likeness is supposed to exist, should be pointed out. It is probable 
that the acceptance of many of the most absurd and unreasonable dogmas 
is due not so much to a want of power to think as to an indisposition 
to think, and no doubt acquiescence is promoted by a fear of the con- 
sequences likely to follow the rejection of, or any opposition to, the 
said doctrines. He who doubts or opposes is to be numbered with the fools. 
Nevertheless, I beg of you to consider what you would think of a person who 
assured you that a watch differed from the iron and brass of which it is 
made only in degree, and I leave it to you to determine what you ought to 
think of a philosopher who tries to make you believe that a living thing 
differs from, the non-living matter of which its body consists in degree only. 
If at this time you press for reasons in favour of the conjectural unity of 
the living and non-living, all you will get will be some dictum about 
primitive nebulosity and chains of causation. Anything like criticism is so 
disliked by the new Materialist, that he condemns those who differ from 
him by anticipation, and thus for a time criticism is deferred, and his con- 
jectures and fancies may find favour ; but that people should be led away 
so far as to renounce their belief in any form of religion, to deny God, and 
to abandon their hope of a future state, is marvellous indeed. 

In conclusion, let me commend to you the words of Kant. " Criticism," 
said he, " alone can strike a blow at the root of Materialism, Fatalism, 
Atheism, Freethinking, Fanaticism, and Superstition, which are universally 

'.- -HUMAN..'* 




(4i)ufalisl)rb fas tfje Institute) 


CANADA : DAWSON BROS., Montreal. WILLARD TR. REP.. Toronto. 

S. AFRICA : JUTA & Co., Cape Town. 


of Wakkerstroom, Transvaal, South Africa. 

JOHNSON defines responsibility as " accountability, or 
liability to answer/' Hence, wherever there is responsi- 
bility, there is subordination and inferiority. A supreme or 
a perfectly independent being is responsible to no one ; but 
in the measure in which our being and possessions are de- 
rived from another, and in which they are sustained by his 
continued operation, we are plainly liable to answer to him. 
The mechanic, who receives the material for his work from 
his employer, is answerable to him for the appropriate use 
of it. The farmer, who commits his stock to the care of his 
bailiff, requires from him full tale of all delivered, and of 
all the increase. The primary question, therefore, with 
respect to man is, Are we self-originated, are we independent ? 
How came I into being ? There was a time when I was 
not, another time when the first cell of my complex body 
began to collect or protrude other cells, and to weave, by 
occult and mysterious skill, the wonderful structure which I 
now possess, and by which I am joined to and form part of 
the visible universe. There was also a time when I was first 
conscious of myself, and of objects around me, not myself, from 
which moment my consciousness and my thought have con- 
tinued until now, increasing my knowledge of myself and 
nature and thus opening new sources of enjoyment and power. 


But I had no choice in my beginning, nor in my construction, 
nor in my birth, nor in my endowments. All were without 
even my concurrence. I did not make or place the object which 
first evoked my consciousness, nor am I the author of those 
which by continual operation increase my knowledge and 
augment my power. 

For my being I am immediately indebted to my parents, but 
not to their direct and immediate volition. For, when we com- 
pare human and brute procreation, we find a lack of uniformity 
in the former, which shows that a superior authority to our 
immediate parentage must be the source of life. All others 
have come into being in the same manner as ourselves ; hence 
our relations to others and theirs to us are independent of our 
own will, we have all been without the possibility of choice, 
and, therefore, are plainly under the direction and at the dis- 
posal of some superhuman authority, possessed of power to 
fulfil his own purposes. 

Here is a chain of accountability. First, to the author of our 
nature and the giver of our life. When a man constructs a 
machine, he has a right to its use and to dispose of it as he 
pleases. He also is presumed to have had some definite purpose 
in its construction, and the right, therefore, to employ it for this 
purpose, and to forbid its use in any way which will spoil or 
deteriorate it. And this right is considered sacred and in- 
defeasible, in proportion to the excellence and value of the in- 
strument constructed. How, then, can bounds be set to the right 
of the author of a nature like ours, with all its wealth of intellect, 
emotion, and will, which he has placed in conditions calculated 
to call forth every power to its full strength, to use, or to require 
its use, according to his own purpose ? 

But here we see the special distinction of humanity. We 
have a body, a wonderful and exquisite machine, by which we 
receive instruction and various other benefits from the material 
universe, and by which we can act upon it, for good or evil, 
but we ourselves are more than, and different from, a machine, 
however perfect. We are not instruments, as our body is, but 
agents. That is, we can see the nature of any and every act, 
the consequences which follow from it to ourselves and others, 
and the reasons why we should do it or leave it undone. And 
we are further able to determine, of and from ourselves, whether 
we will act in harmony with our nature and relations or not. 
We are, therefore, as much bound to answer to our great Author 
for the proper use of the personal and relative endowments 
committed to our trust as the driver of a locomotive is for the 
use of the engine put into his hands. 

But our responsibility to the Author of our nature is not 


bounded by our relation to Him simply as His creatures. We 
cannot have come into being without parents and other family 
relations ; we cannot give free scope to our affections, nor 
develope our intellect, nor act adequately, nor secure full bodily 
enjoyment, but as we form part of a community, the various 
members of which contribute to our improvement. And, as 
communal life is not a separable accident of humanity, but a 
necessity of our nature, we are bound to answer to its Author for 
the general good, so far as it is in our power to promote it. 
And it further follows that, as we are communal by the very 
constitution of our nature, we can by no means relieve our- 
selves of these obligations to our Author to live natural, that 
is, communal lives, lives in which we shall seek, not our own 
good only, but the good of others also. 

We are placed, not have placed ourselves, in this world, 
and in this vast and wonderful universe, which we have not 
made, which we cannot modify, not one of whose properties 
we can change, and to which we cannot add an atom. But 
we derive all our support from it, both as to body and intellect. 
Not only are its material resources unlimited, so that, by its 
orderly alternations, food, clothing, and every other requisite 
for happy and full physical life are furnished, generation after 
generation, but its structure and combination are so various, 
and multiform, and recondite, that it is capable of revealing 
to us, with continually-increasing clearness and breadth, the 
mode by which its great Author works. Thus it brings our 
intellect into contact with His, and teaches us the same order 
and breadth of thought as that which by a supreme volition 
has produced all things. 

We know that the most exquisite skill of the mechanic is 
only a faithful copy of the order of the world itself, in the 
application of material properties in a material substance. 
All pure science is but a knowledge and application of the 
properties of number and space in their multiform combina- 
tions and relations. The deductions of the chemist are but 
the discovery of some of the secret processes of Nature, or 
rather of its great Author in His material operation j while 
the artist, in his most noble and original creations, is simply 
using the material which the Creator has provided after His 
Own method. Thus, the world is not only our habitation, but 
our school and our storehouse. Without it our body would 
die and our mind become inert. 

But we are not only dependent on the great Author of all 
for the production and furnishing of this world, but also for 
the constant operation by which its forces are maintained, its 
substance renewed, and its life preserved ; for each of these 

classes of facts requires similar operation for their continuance 
to that required for their original production. We cannot 
conceive of force but as a personal act ; our idea of it is 
derived solely from the effort necessary on our part to produce 
motion; and, as we find that motion does not belong to 
matter, either in the atom or the mass, but is superimposed, 
so continued action is necessary from the original source 
for its continuance. We are unable to think of continued 
motion without continued energy. And, when we attempt 
to calculate the sum of the motion which is going on 
every moment in the universe, we find ourselves as utterly 
unable to approach a true result as we are to attain to an 
adequate idea of the mode of creation out of nothing. Yet 
there the motion is as a necessity of universal existence, and 
there, at its back, is the energy or force which is its cause : 
too vast and too wonderful for our comprehension. 

But there is one side of this question of which we must 
not lose sight. We are evidently not in in an orphaned, 
a forsaken world ; but we have present with us everywhere 
the hand that formed, now sustaining all things. 

This incessant operation is necessary for the continued 
renewal of the earth as the habitation of man. Without day 
and night, summer and winter, the disintegrating atmosphere, 
and rain and frost, the fertility of the earth could not be 
preserved, and its utility to man would cease; and we find 
ourselves unable to increase its utility but by taking advan- 
tage of the order first established, and by working on the 
same lines, after the manner of the miller who diverts the 
stream to his own wheel. He cannot create the stream, he 
can originate no force, but only employ what the great 
Operator has already provided. In like manner, all recupera- 
tive operation is not of human origin, but is simply the 
application of recuperative power lying ready to hand by the 
prolific providence of the Author of all. 

Life requires certain conditions. The most elementary 
vegetable cannot exist without light and water. The animal 
must have organised substances for his food, and a properly- 
mingled atmosphere to breathe. Small changes in either are 
i'atal. The world is full of life, full beyond possibility of 
numbering, and it does not fail. If we were able to form a 
judgment, we should incline rather to the conclusion that it 
has been increasingly abundant from the beginning. But if 
we cannot enumerate the lives, or even the varieties of life, how 
much more are we unable to tell all the observation, and the 
care, and the varied and constant operation which have 
been necessary from the beginning to perpetuate it. 

Thus we are brought face to face with a mighty operating 
personality, all whose work tends to the preservation, and 
development, and perfecting of the universe ; of which, so far 
as this world is concerned, man is the head and the only 
being capable of understanding the Author's purpose, and of 
employing the vast resources He has provided for our use 
according to that purpose. This greatly increases the range 
and the force of our responsibility. The man who is placed 
at the head of a grand operative establishment, having a large 
capital and many subordinates under his control, is bound to 
greater carefulness, diligence, and fidelity than any one under 
him. By this rule, how truly boundless is our responsibility 
to the Creator and Upholder of all things. We can conceive 
of no capability of our nature, no relation we sustain to 
others, and no donation of His providence, for which we are 
not bound to answer. 

But is there a Creator ? Have not all things come into 
being by the independent operation of matter, and from 
properties inherent in itself? Before we can answer this 
question, we necessarily meet another. How came the 
material substance of the universe into existence ? It could 
not produce itself, because, if capable of acting, it could not 
act before it existed, and especially so mighty a work as 
creation could not come from a nonentity. But, in nearly 
all the discussions on the supposed action of matter, a hidden 
fallacy lies. Matter is spoken of as though it were one 
homogeneous substance, possessing unvarying and uniform 
properties and powers, and therefore capable of simple and 
immediate action. It is, however, well known that this is 
not its true character, but that the substance of the earth 
consists of sixty-three different elements, every one of which 
has a fixed and unchangeable nature, utterly incapable of 
transmutation, and some of them have an unalterable incom- 
patibility with others; so that united action, for any such 
purpose as the creation and arrangement of the substance of , 
our earth, is simply inconceivable. We could as well suppose 
that lions, tigers, bears, sheep, deer, and cows could unite 
in any undertaking for the general good. And there is 
equal difficulty in supposing that one element could produce 

If hydrogen were the first which evolved itself from 
nothingness, how could it have produced gold, or iron, or 
carbon ? If we suppose them all to have come into being 
spontaneously, who fixed the order of birth, and whence 
came the adjustment of proportions in the mass, so that 


carbon is abundant and gold scarce ? Whence did the 
affinities come ? Did hydrogen construct itself on purpose to 
be able to take one atom of oxygen into union with two ot 
itself to produce water ? And, when both were self-made, 
whence came the pressure by which their combined bulk was 
reduced eighteen hundred times to make the great ocean of 
water ? How were the diverse atomic weights determined, 
so that lithium is but seven, while bismuth is two hundred 
and ten ? These are but a few of the thousands of questions 
which claim an answer before we can admit the independent 
action of matter. 

And the difficulties are only removed a step further back, 
by the adoption of the only alternative which is possible to 
the Materialist, the eternal existence of matter, while that 
theory carries with it certain grave difficulties peculiar to 
itself. In the days of old, when matter was thought and 
spoken of as one simple whole, it was possible, with at least 
a show of reason, to argue for its eternity, but no man can 
contend for sixty-three eternals. Geology shows that, so far 
as our earth is concerned, there has been a constant process 
of disintegration and reconstruction from the beginning, every 
series of which is capable of measurement in time ; and the 
most liberal donor of duration can go back to a precise and 
definite beginning. Astronomy also teaches us that the solar 
system can only have existed for a limited and definite period, 
while all through its existence the motions of the several 
members, both in direction and speed, have been ruled by 
strict mathematical law. But such science can scarcely be 
attributed to an assembly of unconscious and incompatible 
atoms. Thus we are compelled to look for some intelligent 
creator and distributor of matter in its various forms, adequate 
both in knowledge and power, to account for the existence 
and adjustment of the substance of the universe. 

But we are now met by a theory which, taking matter as 
already existing, supposes it to possess inherent power of 
development into all the forms of life we now see. An initial 
difficulty here is the fact that, in all the changes taking place 
in mere matter, a strict law or order is, and must be, observed. 
In all chemical combination strict laws of quantivalence and 
proportion prevent any more than a definite and invariable 
number of specific atoms uniting to form any substance ; 
while other laws compel the union of the appointed number 
when brought into juxtaposition. Thus, matter pure and 
simple as we find it in the atom, is incapable of independent 
action, but follows an invariable order, which has existed ever 
since matter existed. Development or progress, in material 

combination and form, in and from matter, is therefore im- 
possible. How, then, is it possible for matter, which cannot 
change the form of its own crystal, to produce life ? Matter 
nowhere acts, but is acted on by forces exterior to itself. 

Life in the simple form of the vegetable sack is totally 
distinct from and above all chemical force, which operates 
only by superimposed law. The crystal can only increase by 
accretion, which, however great, cannot alter the position, 
shape, or size of the one first deposited; but the plant selects 
from the atmosphere, the earth, and the light, those things 
only which it can assimilate, and by taking 'them into itself 
increases its own bulk, matures its strength, and propagates 
its kind. Here, therefore, we have powers which are nowhere 
seen in mere matter, and which are certainly of a higher 
order ; and what matter has not it cannot give. If this be so 
with vegetative life, how much more with animal life, where we 
have in its most minute forms the wonderful power of volition, 
and in its progressive stages various vital and mental qualities, 
which are of an entirely different and much higher character 
than any vegetative force, and therefore much more impossible 
to mere matter. 

But, supposing life in its simplest forms already to exist, 
we are taught that it has gone on improving into more 
complete forms, until the present species have come into 
being. If this has been so, it is matter of history ; but we 
find no evidence of the existence of only imperfect and 
elementary forms of life in the earliest deposits, gradually 
growing up to perfection in the last. Then, as now, various 
gradations of complexity in structure, each suited to the con- 
ditions and purpose of life, existed as contemporaries. But, 
in all past times, we have no clear example of an animal in 
the condition of change from one species to another,* nor can we 
conceive of such change by any vital analogy of the present 
time. But, if the capability of such progress or development 
is involved in the very idea of life, as the theory supposes, it 
would not touch our present argument. For, as we have no 
example of spontaneous generation and cannot conceive of it, 
so we must, in this case, suppose this to be the mode by which 
the Creator chose to work ; as the first life with all its poten- 
tialities must have been His gift. This is implied in the term 
evolution, which necessarily supposes involution, as potentially 
full as the evolution. " What comes out in the web must 
first have been in the loom, and the warp, and the weft." So 

* Professor Huxley's argument as to the hipparion is very far from a 


that, whether our Creator chose to bring our body to its present 
state of completeness by a process nearly as long as that by 
which He fitted the earth for our abode or fashioned it accord- 
ing to the counsel of His own will, by the word of His power, 
when " He spake and it was done, commanded and it stood 
fast/' in either case, He is our Maker, whether the process of 
making has been long or short.* 

This, however, must not be taken as an acknowledgment 
of the correctness of the theory in question, which we do not 
accept because of the difficulties and contradictions which it 
involves. First, we have no authentic example of such trans- 
mutation as this theory requires, so that it is as yet mere 
theory. Then, we find that we have at present existing almost 
every conceivable variety of life, from the simple sack up to 
man, and we see no case in which these lower forms are 
passing into the higher. Darwin himself informs us that the 
earth-worms have retained their lowly but useful position 
from the first till now ; nor can we conceive of the existence 
of sufficient intelligence in the lower forms to attain, or even 
aspire after, a higher. How could the simple sack, whose 
power of absorption extends over its whole surface, discern 
the advantage of tentacula, a mouth, and an alimentary canal ? 
and, if he knew their benefit, how could he proceed to their 
production ? 

The sum of the whole, then, is: 1. Pure materialism is 
impossible. 2. Of evolution we have no proof and no authentic 
example. 3. Creation, pure and simple, is the only doctrine 
that meets and removes every difficulty and covers the whole 
case ; while it is impossible to prove it false. Adopting the 
mechanical maxim of following the line of least resistance, we 
accept the infinite Creator, as attested and proved to us by 
the whole assemblage of mundane facts. We are His creatures 
in His world, sustained by His constant providence, and there- 
fore we are accountable to Him. 

A notable confirmation of this accountability we have in the 
faculty of conscience, which is possessed by all men. This 
power or faculty is an immediate perception or intuition of 
duty, which, although in nearly all cases it is capable of con- 
firmation by subsequent processes of reasoning, is not the 
result of reasoning in the first instance, but springs at once 

* This conclusion is the more necessary, as the accepted description of 
the origin or cause of evolution is, " The tendency in any given direction 
which gives a greater chance of life to the individual, but with which the 
will or the intelligence of the individual has nothing to do." 


and in full force in the mind. In this perception of duty is 
involved the obligation of fulfilling it, which is accompanied 
by complacency on obedience, and by a sense of condemnation 
and remorse on disobedience. This is not an acquired but a 
primary faculty of our nature, and remains in active operation 
in all but the most degraded. 

The force of this testimony to our responsibility is some- 
times sought to be evaded by reference to the diverse decisions 
of conscience in different persons. It should, however, be 
remembered that this diversity in detail as to practice may, in 
all cases, be traced to previous error as to our relations to 
others. Thus, the ruler who has adopted the now-exploded 
notion that he has an unlimited right, by divine donation, to 
command his subjects after his own pleasure, and that any 
resistance of his authority is fighting against God, will feel 
little or no compunction in robbing or oppressing them. But 
although such falsehood, when. taught in and from infancy, or 
accepted from common and popular opinion, may, to a great 
extent, pervert the judgment and dim the perception of duty, 
yet it remains a question whether any human being can plainly 
invade the right of others without compunction. And it is 
certain that no man of ordinary mental capacity could adopt 
principles and rules of action palpably in violation of the rights 
of others without self-condemnation. 

It must also be remembered that we cannot learn the 
decision of another man's conscience by his actions. Selfish- 
ness, avarice, pride, and all other evil dispositions and passions 
contend against the pure, benevolent, and just decisions of 
conscience. We can only be directly certified concerning its 
operation by our own experience, and thence we learn that, 
although its decision may sometimes be silenced by the 
clamour of passion, and at others may be set aside by the 
fallacies of a proud or a grovelling selfishness, yet the whip 
and the sting never fail to fall and to pierce when the voice 
of the inward judge is disregarded. The great broad facts 
with respect to the operation of conscience are these, it 
perceives obligation and duty, it requires obedience to its 
dictates, and does not fail to bless or curse as they are 
regarded or contemned. 

It is also especially worthy of consideration that the verdict 
and judgment of conscience are primarily in the name of, and 
are ultimately directed to, the great Author of our being, and 
our present Ruler. For although, in most of the cases on 
which the judgment of conscience is recorded, the action has 
respect immediately to our fellow-creatures, yet the judgment 
proceeds on the assumption that, independent of and above 
6 C 


man, we have been placed in relations to our fellow-creatures 
by a Supreme Authority, and that these relations which He 
has established we have observed or violated. Hence it does 
not matter whether our fellow-man be cognisant of our action 
or not, we are alike self-condemned or self-applauded in the 
presence of the great King. But this could not be, unless 
we stood in conscious relation to Him as the rightful Supreme 

This inward testimony to the existence of a Supreme 
Kuler is universal. Hence all nations, as far back as we can 
trace their existence, have had a religion and a God. And 
the more primitive their condition the more precise and 
definite their views on the relations they sustain to the Creator 
and Upholder of all things. During the present century the 
ancient records of Egypt, of Assyria, and the whole of Meso- 
potamia have been disinterred and read ; researches in Persia 
have brought to light the condition of the whole Iranian 
tribes prior to the reformation of Zoroaster, and as its conse- 
quence ; while the Vedas, the religious poems of their 
kindred Indian Aryans, have been written and translated ; 
and profound researches into the ancient literature of China 
have unveiled the doctrine and the worship of the Chinese 
before and since Confucius ; and the result of the whole is, that 
we find in these nations, from the time of their existence as 
separate and distinct communities, religion, after the special 
manner of each, was the primary and most prominent pecu- 
liarity of their combined action. 

In Egypt, religion entered into the entire social and indivi- 
dual life of the nation, regulating every private action and 
requiring a varied and complete virtue, which furnished terms 
for every Christian grace to the Coptic translators of the New 
Testament. While it ruled the people, it controlled the King, 
who was the High Priest of the Supreme God. In Assyria a 
pure and dominant despotism prevailed, such as we might 
expect from the successors of him who was a " mighty hunter 
before the Lord." In the records of the Mesopotamians, 
therefore, we see only the king, who undertakes all his works, 
builds all his cities, fights all his battles at the bidding of the 
God, his father, and to establish his worship. The Iranians, as 
might be expected from their nomadic and quiet and contem- 
plative character and habits, returned to the pure and simple 
worship of the Creator, whose only symbol was brilliant light, 
and with whom no moral corruption could abide. In Ahuro 
Magdao they partly beheld the varied, full, and limitless 
perfection which the Jew saw in Jehovah; hence their 
morality embraced every devout, individual, and social virtue, 


enforced by present divine favour and blessing, and by an 
everlasting reward. Their Indian kinsmen seem to have made 
religion the stay and the luxury of their life. So far as we 
can now see, they had fallen under the domination of an 
oppressive priesthood, but still they struggled after the free 
and friendly intercourse which their ancestors enjoyed, and 
which for many generations was embalmed in the hymns 
which they continued to sing when the experience they em- 
bodied was forgotten. But one thing is conspicuous through- 
out. Religion was the business of their lives. The Chinese, 
from their first appearance as a distinct people, had clear con- 
ceptions of the existence and present dominion of the Creator, 
which they retain to this day, although their superstition has 
peopled the heavens and the earth with multitudes of sub- 
ordinate or ministering spirits who fulfil His will, so that 
direct worship is now only paid to the Supreme Sovereign by 
the Emperor on behalf of the whole empire represented in 
their solemn services. The Phoenicians surpassed their neigh- 
bours in the severity of their worship, offering human sacrifices 
to appease the anger of God, which shows the strength of their 
conviction as to the reality of His existence and rule. 

We cannot conceive of a religion which does not suppose 
the dependence of the worshipper upon his God, and also of 
real intercourse between them ; at any rate, so far as the 
offer of worship by man and the bestowment of benefits by 
God ; and in the ancient nations already mentioned, that God 
was the Creator, notwithstanding the grouping of subordinates 
around Him in subsequent times. Nor can this conviction of 
the existence of a divine Creator and Ruler be ascribed to the 
infancy and consequent immaturity of these peoples. First, 
the definite precision of the doctrines forbids such a supposi- 
tion, and the mechanical, scientific, artistic, and social pro- 
ficiency of these nations at the time these precise and sharply- 
cut decisions were commonly held, shows that they were not 
lucky guesses of the ignorant, but the permanent opinions of 
thoughtful men. 

M. Le Page Renouf, in the Hibbert Lecture of 1879, 
quotes the late M. Emanuel Rouge's mature judgment con- 
cerning Egypt, and declares that no scholar is better entitled 
to be heard on this subject. " No one has called in question 
the fundamental meaning of the principal passages by the 
help of which we are able to establish what ancient Egypt has 
taught concerning God, the world, and man. I say God, not 
the gods. The first characteristic is the unity most ener- 
getically expressed, God, one, sole, and only, not others 
with Him. He is the only being living in truth : ' Thou art 


one, and millions of beings proceed from Thee.' He has 
made everything, and He alone has not been made. The 

clearest, the simplest, the most precise conception 

The belief in the unity of the Supreme God, and in His 
attributes as the Creator and Lawgiver of man, whom He 
has endowed with an immortal soul, these are the primitive 

Dr. Legge, in his Lectures on the Religions of China, shows 
by a careful analysis of the primitive characters by which the 
Chinese fathers expressed their theological doctrines, and 
which he says "puts us en rapport with them fully 5,000 
years ago," that at that remote period their idea of the 
Deity was Supreme Ruler, " whose providence embraces 
all." He then proceeds to say that " T'ien has had much of 
the force of the name Jahve, as explained by God himself to 
Moses ; Ti has represented that absolute deity in the relation 
to men of their lord and governor. Ti was to the Chinese 
fathers, I believe, exactly what God was to our fathers, when- 
ever they took the great name on their lips." Zoroaster is 
supposed to have lived about the time of Abraham, and he 
taught most distinctly the unity, supremacy, spirituality, 
benevolence, and righteousness of the Creator and Governor 
of all. But he only professed to be a reformer, bringing back 
the people to a primitive faith and practice. 

Professor Th. Ribot, in his Contemporary English Psychology, 
page 241, says : " The legislations of Buddha, of Solon, of 
Lycurgus, of Confucius, of Mahomet, were not the pure 
creations of their brain. Confucius 4 ec ^ ares that he follows 
the traditions of his ancestors. Mahomet states that he is a 
restorer. Buddhism is born of an effusion of hearts towards 
charity, tenderness, and the doctrine of inaction. Solon and 
Lycurgus gave a body of ancient Ionic and Doric institutions. 
All these men have told the secret to the world." And that 
secret, according to Professor Ribot, wa?, that these laws for 
the regulation of human action were the result of the com- 
bined testimony of individual consciences ; thus showing 
that the great legislators drew the material for their laws 
from the operation of that faculty in man which directly and 
intuitively recognises our responsibility. 

In mere recent times, we find the Greeks and Romans in 
all their public acts besought the aid of their gods, and in 
their calamities and failures saw the divine wrath, and pro- 
ceeded by the appointed means to turn it aside. In our own 
time, we see the most civilised and enlightened nations are 
the most religious, while the most honourable, virtuous, and 
intelligent men of those nations are proportionately devout, 


and they confessedly derive their principles of honour, and 
their power of right-doing, from their devotion. 

The force of this important series of facts is not invalidated 
nor weakened by the consideration, that in some of the cases 
referred to the objects of worship were spurious ; but it is 
rather strengthened by the fact, that so dominant is the sense 
of need, and so prevalent the persuasion of the possibility of 
access to God, on whom we depend, that when all true know- 
ledge of Him was lost, and only false substitutes for the 
living God existed which could not help, yet, even then, the 
practice of worship was continued through successive genera- 
tions of disappointment, all of whom were ready to ascribe 
the failure to the imperfection of the worship rather than to 
the impotence or the indifference of their gods. 

We have no other peculiarity of humanity equally universal, 
operative, elevating, or permanent. How can we account for 
it, but as the expression of a universally- felt need of our 
nature, prompting to acts of reverence, submission, trust, 
obedience, and love, mingled with appeals for help, and 
grateful thanks for past blessings ? We recognise the un- 
easiness of hunger and thirst as a natural provision, securing 
the proper nourishment for the body. And we have equal 
reason to look upon this pressing sense of spiritual need, and 
the aspiration to one Supreme King, as a natural provision for 
the spiritual life of the soul. 

There plainly can be no insuperable difficulty in the way 
of intercourse in the highest sides of our nature with its 
Author, when we find our intellect in constant contact with 
Him. Many things are at present by our philosophical 
teachers said to be unthinkable, but far more unthinkable 
than any philosophical impossibility is the constant sight of 
operation without an operator. No human mind can think 
of the one without the other. We not only are able to 
recognise the operation of the Creator, but we can also learn 
the modes of His operation ; our only difficulty is in the 
vastness of His work. We can calculate the actual operative 
force which the divine volition puts forth in the various 
members of the solar system, in the attractive force of the 
different chemical affinities, in the great integrating power 
of gravitation, in the motion of light, in the capillary attrac- 
tion energetic in every vegetable tube over the surface of the 
earth. We have been able to employ the sun to paint our 
portraits, and the lightning to carry our messages round 
the world; while our own work can only be done as we 
direct to our own ends the force already and continually 


Thus we find ourselves in continual contact with the 
Almighty operator, and, so far as our intellect is concerned, 
unable to exercise it but upon His work. But this could not 
be if we were in a condition of necessary and absolute 
ignorance of God. The cup cannot contain the ocean, but it 
may be filled from its water. So we are unable to grasp as 
one magnificent whole the boundless and varied operation of 
the sustainer of all things, much less can we adequately 
conceive the breadth of the attributes of His own infinite 
nature ; but we can see in His work skill and power such as 
we ourselves can exhibit in a less degree. Nor have we any 
difficulty in seeing benevolence in the boundless and varied 
life with which our earth is peopled, all the arrangements for 
which tend to the happiness of the living. In like manner, 
we find that when men live in any way unnatural lives their 
action tends to their own weakness and decay, while the 
violation of all social obligation destroys confidence, so that 
lying, deception, theft, and every other trespass on the rights 
of others tend to the disruption of the bonds of society, 
and require suppression, that full communal life may remain. 
These facts, which are invariable, as plainly show us the 
righteousness and truth of the Author of our nature, and the 
reality of His moral rule, as the physical universe shows us 
His skill and power. Thus it appears that a knowledge of 
God, of His moral character, and of our obligation to do His 
will, may in some measure be learned by his government of us. 

But as all such knowledge is rudimentary, and requires 
long time and patient thought, as well as large range of 
observation, and, after all, is only of authority to the individual 
who has thought it out for himself, we require some more 
certain, extensive, and authoritative teaching, that we may 
from the first live natural lives, that is, lives in accordance 
with the requirements, capabilities, and obligations of our 
nature. This need becomes more imperative from the fact 
that we begin life in a condition of total ignorance, and have 
each for ourselves to acquire such knowledge of external 
things as will enable us to prolong and improve our life in this 
world ; and this in many cases so engrosses the attention as 
to leave no room for anything besides. 

Not only is there nothing in human nature to prevent such 
a revelation of the divine will, but our relations of subordina- 
tion and dependence, the grounds of responsibility, make 
it likely that such revelation will be granted, and that, in 
some way, certain and conscious intercourse with the Father 
of our spirits will take place. We know of no being but 
God with whom we as men can have free interchange of 


thought and emotion, while, as we have already seen, if we 
act effectually, we must act after His manner. There is, 
therefore, no reason in the nature of things, in what the uni- 
verse teaches us of God, nor in our own nature, to make such 
intercourse unlikely, but everything to make it extremely 

No man of ordinary intelligence would erect a large manu- 
factory, furnish it with machinery arid all material necessary 
for the work to be done, and then commit it to the charge of 
totally ignorant people to conduct the operations, and leave 
them without supervision. Unless he declared his will with 
respect to their action, he could not expect his plans to be 
carried out, and the employes would certainly not be to blame 
for the failure. How much more is it impossible for the Maker 
of all things to bring into existence a race of intelligent agents, 
and place them at the head, and in possession, of a world full 
of His creatures of inferior natui'e, and after all leave them 
without information concerning His will and purpose towards 
them. Nor can we conceive of His having created a race so 
richly endowed with emotional capacity, and after all leaving 
them without a knowledge of Himself, the only object capable 
of calling forth the full strength of these emotions ; particu- 
larly when the emotion is not a separable accident of the nature, 
but is woven into its entire texture, influencing every volition, 
and prompting to every action. 

The force of such arguments as the above, which appeal to 
reason and common sense, is frequently evaded by bringing 
against them the terrible charge of beinganthropomorphic. The 
alarm is created by the use of the long Greek word ; if it were 
simply translated, and the harmless word human took its place, 
its power to dismay would depart. There is wonderfully terrific 
power in long Greek words. And, when we observe the solemn 
awe with which the charge of being anthropomorphic is gene- 
rally brought, we cannot help recurring to Austin Caxton's 
adventure with the wild bull, which he thus describes, " Luckily 
I had the umbrella, and I sprang it up and spread it forth in 
the animal's stupid eyes, hurling at him simultaneously the 
biggest lines I could think of in the first chorus of the Seven 
against Thebes. I began with ' Eledemnas PEDIOPLOCTUPOS '; 
and when I came to the grand howl of 'Io>, iw, to, to>, the 
beast stood appalled as at the roar of a lion. I shall never 
forget his amazed snort at the Greek. Then he kicked up his 
heelS and went bolt through a gap in the hedge." In like 
manner, when the grave charge of being human is brought in 
Greek, instead of boldly affirming it, some who know better, 
appearing to think that there must be some evil lurking under 


the outlandish word, begin to defend themselves against 

Plainly we are incapable of anything which is not human ; 
our thoughts, emotions, and actions are all human and nothing 
but human. But the gentlemen who bring this charge do so 
avowedly for two reasons. First, that all such modes of 
thought are inadequate to produce any knowledge of God; 
and, secondly, that they are derogatory to the divine nature. 
But it must be remembered that their God is not the God of 
common men. He is not the Creator and Sustainer of the 
universe, but an abstraction of the human intellect, who is 
presented to us as the Absolute, the Unconditioned, the 
Infinite ; each and all of these and similar terms conveying 
the notion of an existence without attributes, without relations, 
without thought, without action, and therefore, to all normal 
human thought, without being. And this they virtually 
acknowledge, in declaring that all anthropomorphic, that is, 
human, modes of thought cannot apply to him. 

Nothing can more clearly show the non-natural, and, there- 
fore, worthless character of such speculations, than the 
acknowledgment that human thought cannot apply to such a 
conception any attribute of reality, as, indeed, it cannot. 
How can we conceive of an infinitude which fills immensity, 
and yet is nowhere; which comprehends all excellence, and 
yet has no particular virtue or power ? Such a thing is simply 
a human creation, and the creators find their production so full 
of contradictions and absurdities, that they are unable to 
present it in an intelligible form to others. But instead of 
acknowledging their failure, as normal human modesty would 
suggest, they repudiate human language and human thought, 
because they reject the monstrosity. But let us never forget 
that the Absolute, the Unconditioned, the Infinite of modern 
philosophy has no existence but in the minds of the philoso- 
phers themselves ; and there we may leave it, without any 
alarm for the consequences. 

But, while they amuse themselves with abstractions which 
are delusive and perverting, let us remember the Living God, 
our Maker, and the bountiful Donor of our blessings. And 
while we keep our eyes open to all the operation of His hand 
in the physical sphere of His work, let us not fail to rnai'k the 
effects of human action under His government, both on the 
actors themselves and on others also. Thus we shall learn 
much concerning His moral character, which will instruct and 
help us in our endeavours to walk uprightly before Him. 
But the more we study these questions, and the greater pro- 


ficiency we make, the more deeply shall we feel that some 
further knowledge of Himself and the relations in which we 
stand to Him is necessary for us. 

We have already seen that we can only think of the Creator 
according to those laws of thought by which we think of other 
persons and things. It, therefore, follows that any communi- 
cation from Him must be brought down to the human level. 
There seems to be no difficulty in this, inasmuch as all His 
work in the material universe is open to our comprehension. 
But here a question arises, How are we to ascertain that the 
communication professedly coming from Him does really so 
come ? If it be merely local, temporary, or individual in its 
application, all that can be considered necessary is the assur- 
ance to the person to whom it comes that the speaker is God. 
No improbability, no difficulty can possibly exist in any com- 
munication of the Creator with His creatures. Several such 
special, individual revelations are found in the Scriptures of 
the Old and the New Testament. . Such communications, 
however, cannot meet the general need, nor would solely indi- 
vidual revelation be in harmony with the Creator's mode of 
operation in material and secular things. A law for the race 
must be publicly proclaimed, and there must be unquestionable 
evidence that He who speaks is divine, or the speaker must 
be attested as a divine messenger. We cannot suppose that 
less than this would be done by God, and certainly less ought 
not to be accepted by man. Otherwise we might be following 
lying spirits, and not the Spirit of God. With such assurance 
we may rest content. 

What, then, are the facts with respect to the Christian 
revelation ? We find them cluster around two persons, 
Moses and Jesus of Nazareth. Moses is our authority for the 
records of all preceding revelations; we must, therefore, look 
for an attestation of his character and office, of equal certainty 
to the importance of the position which he occupies with 
respect to the world. We see a personal call to his important 
office in the appearance of God to him in the burning bush, 
in which he has an assurance that the Creator would appear 
in the government of His people, in all the plentitude of His 
infinite, necessary, and eternal being, of which He gave a 
pledge in assuming the new name Jehovah. This must be 
considered as the pledge, the promise of all that followed. 
This, however, immediately concerned Moses alone, and was 
the assurance to him of that full divine revelation which by 
him, in its continuous progression, should manifest God in the 
flesh. This was necessary to give him the confidence needed 
for the special and dangerous work he had immediately to do. 
6 D 


The pledge was redeemed ; Moses passed through all the 
danger and difficulty of his intercourse with Pharaoh, not 
only without harm, but with such improvement in courage, 
knowledge, and political conduct as fitted him to lead the 
children of Israel to freedom and independence. 

But the personal revelation to Moses was only the prelude 
to such public and general manifestations of divine power, 
as proved that the Sender of Moses was none other than the 
Creator and Upholder of all things. Only he who possesses, 
and can use as he pleases, the matter, the force, and the life 
of the universe, could have inflicted the plagues on the 
Egyptian king and nation. That they really occurred as 
recorded is evident from the deliverance of Israel from 
Egyptian bondage, and from the profound place this wonderful 
deliverance occupied in the sacred and national literature of 
Israel. But these displays of the divine presence and 
authority, were but the beginning of that wonderful and 
diverse fatherly goodness of God to Israel, which was intended 
as a pattern and a pledge to the whole world of like fatherly 
care and love. See their immediate direction by the pillar 
of cloud and of fire, so that they stirred not but as the Lord 
led them; their daily food not failing, but neither sown, 
reaped, ground, nor kneaded by themselves ; and, finally, at 
the time declared, their entrance on and possession of 
Canaan. These were all palpable facts, which it was im- 
possible surreptitiously to foist. The memorials of them were 
preserved in the Feast of the Passover, of Tabernacles, and in 
the rod of Aaron and the pot of manna, which were preserved 
in the Tabernacle and the Temple, till the destruction of the 
latter by Nebuchadnezzar. 

To the whole community, the infant nation, thus prepared, 
the Law was proclaimed. But, as might be expected for so 
important a transaction, special and imposing preliminaries 
and accessories were appointed. Moses was called to the 
divine presence, and from thence sent back to the people to 
say : " Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how 
I bare you on eagles' wings and brought you unto Myself. 
Now, therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My 
covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above 
all people : for all the earth is Mine ; and ye shall be unto Me 
a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation/' To this appeal 
" all the people answered together, and said, All that the 
Lord hath spoken we will do." When Moses carried this 
reply, he was sent back to sanctify them by the appropriate 
sacrifices and cleansing ; their clothes also were washed, and 
on the third day the whole congregation, in a state of physical 


and moral purity, came to the front of Sinai, that they might 
hear the Lord proclaim His law. " And the Lord came down 
upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mount. And Mount 
Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended 
upon it in fire : and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke 
of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly." From 
the fire, and the thick darkness, the Lord spake the Ten 
Commandments, in the hearing of all the people. 

The whole scene was imposing and awful, so that " the 
people removed and stood afar off. And they said unto 
Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear, but, let not God 
speak with us lest we die." Thus it is evident that the 
whole transaction was, to the assembled Israelites, an awful 
reality. And, when we consider the circumstances, we see 
that there was no possibility of simulation. None but the 
Creator and Possessor of all things could have made Sinai 
to smoke and quake, and from that firy furnace have uttered 
the Law. The moral impossibilities are equally apparent. 
How could a gigantic deception have been joined on to the 
Egyptian plagues, the dividing of the Red Sea, and the 
descent of the manna ? Could anything but reality be 
associated with the utterance of that Law, which is the basis 
of all sound human legislation, and which to this day has 
full force in all the most civilised and intelligent nations 
of the earth ? It is impossible also that the morality of a nation 
could come out of a lie, either spoken or acted, and espe- 
cially such a full and complete morality as the laws of Israel 
enjoined. There is also this important collateral evidence 
of its reality. The descendants of this generation who wit- 
nessed the giving of the Law, in all their neglect of it, in 
all their idolatrous apostasy, never once pleaded the want of 
authority in the Law itself as an excuse for their sin. And 
their descendants, so wonderfully preserved as a distinct 
people to this day, acknowledge the Decalogue as the Law 
of the Lord. All these assurances, however, are no more 
than might have been looked for in a declaration of the 
divine will so important and wide-reaching. 

The reality of the scenes of Sinai being assured, let us look 
at the significance of this revelation. We have here only one 
view of the Creator, it is that of King. He does not pro- 
claim anything concerning His own nature, nor satisfy a 
single human speculation, nor even declare the relations in 
which- He stands to His creatures as the basis of His law ; 
but, taking as an unquestionable and fundamental fact the 
rightful subjection of all men to Himself, He simply declares 
His will. And, although the law was given to Israel as the 


condition on which alone the special privileges of being a 
peculiar treasure, a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation 
could be enjoyed ; yet, at the same time, He claimed the 
right to the whole earth. Thus from the mouth of the Lord 
himself we learn our responsibility to Him and our obligation 
to do His will. 

This act of legislation was one, by it the nationality of the 
Israelites was secured, and only the details of social law and 
the administration of the law remained to be secured. These 
did not fail, and in them that full revelation of divine per- 
fection, which the name Jehovah promised, was accomplished. 
But this economy which secured such abundant good to Israel, 
was brought about by the establishment of most perfect and 
direct responsibility to the Lord, who was not only their God, 
but their King. And, although by His permission they at length 
had a human monarch, that monarch was merely the divine 
vicegerent. They were, therefore, commanded, while yet in 
the wilderness, that at the time they should say, " I will set 
a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me ; 
thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee whom the Lord 
thy God shall choose." This was actually done in the case of 
Saul and David, and these kings and their successors were 
simply intrusted with the administration of divine law. 
Their legislative authority extended only to proclamations of 
an individual and peculiar character, which adjusted the 
general provisions of the Mosaic Law to special cases. But 
not one clause of the original Law could they abrogate or 
amend. In accordance with this economy, the king was con- 
secrated to his office by an anointing, which was the outward 
symbol of the gift of the Spirit of God, as the qualification 
for the efficient fulfilment of the duties of His office, and, 
when both king and people departed from the law, God 
Himself inflicted the punishment due to their transgression, 
as He was their deliverer and helper in all times of their 

In this continued exercise of direct rule over Israel we 
have repeated proofs of the presence of the Creator and 
Upholder of all things. When they had grievously departed 
from the law, and had, contrary to express prohibition, intro- 
duced the idolatry of the Sidonians into Samaria, and wor- 
shipped Baal instead of the Lord, He withheld rain from them 
for three years and six months, so that famine was sorely 
felt in Samaria and the whole country ; nor was the infliction 
removed until the people again declared the Lord to be God, 
and the 450 prophets of Baal were slain. The means also by 
which this reformation was effected could only have been used 


by Him in whose hands are the forces of the universe. The 
prophets of Baal in vain called upon their god from morning 
till noon, and till evening approached, and cried and cut 
themselves, and leaped in desperation on their sacrifice, but 
no answer came, and no fire descended. But, when Elijah 
appealed to the Lord, to show all the people that he had done 
all in obedience to His word, and thus turn their heart back 
again to Himself, " then the fire of the Lord fell and con- 
sumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and 
the dust, and licked up the water in the trench." Here was 
a work which only the Supreme Ruler could have done ; and, 
like all which He did in the government of His people, it 
was done under circumstances which rendered mistake or 
deception impossible. A public challenge had been given, 
the prophets of Baal and of the groves, 850 in all, had been 
summoned, and all Israel had been collected to witness the 
result of the contest. Most important national interests were 
involved ; an entirely new departure, or a return to the old 
paths, must be the result of that day's trial; their eyes were 
open, their interest was excited, their attention fixed, and the 
result was a national cry, " The Lord he is the God ! The Lord 
he is the God ! " If any transaction ever was real, and certain, 
and unmistakable, this was, up to the unanimous and 
universal verdict. 

Another act of direct divine rule occurred a few years after 
the above, in the kingdom of Judah, which demands considera- 
tion for our present argument. Jehoshaphat was informed 
that a great multitude of Moabites, Ammonites, and others 
was coming against him in Jerusalem. He knew that his 
force was insufficient to meet them, but he believed in the 
Lord his God, proclaimed a fast, and gathered all Judah to 
ask help of the Lord. Then, as the voice of the whole con- 
gregation, he uttered the following prayer : " Lord God of 
our fathers, art not Thou God in heaven ? and rulest not Thou 
over all the kingdoms of the heathen ? and in Thine hand is 
there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand 
Thee ? Art not Thou our God, who didst drive out the jn- 
habitants of this land before Thy people Israel, and gavest it 
to the seed of Abraham Thy friend for ever ? .... If 
when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pesti- 
lence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in Thy pre- 
sence (for Thy name is in this house), and cry unto Thee in our 
affliction, then thou wilt hear and help. And now behold the 
children of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir whom Thou 
wouldst not let Israel invade when they came out of the land 
of Egypt, but they turned from them and destroyed them 


not ; behold, how they reward us, to come and cast us out of 
Thy possession, which Thou hast given us to inherit. our 
God, wilt not Thou judge them ? for we have no might against 
this great company that cometh against us ; neither know we 
what to do ; but our eyes are upon Thee." 

When the prayer was ended the Spirit of the Lord came 
upon a Levite in the midst of the congregation, who, under 
this divine impulse said, " Harken ye, all Judah, and ye in- 
habitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Johoshaphat ; thus saith 
the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of 
this great multitude ; for the battle is not yours, but God's. 
Ye shall not need to fight in this battle ; set yourselves, 
stand ye still and see the salvation of the Lord with you." 
On the morrow, when they went forth at the divine bidding 
to behold the invaders, they found that the Lord had turned 
their treachery to Judah towards one another, so that Moab 
and Edom slew the people of Seir and then turned their 
swords against each other until all were destroyed ; and the 
number was so great that it took them three days to collect 
the spoil. 

This quotation has been made because this piece of national 
history establishes every position that has been affirmed in the 
preceding argument. There evidently was free and conscious 
intercourse with God. H,e was addressed by Jehoshaphat as 
God in heaven, and as ruling in all the kingdoms of the 
heathen. As their King they appealed to Him for help, and 
by that power which He, as the Maker and Upholder of all 
men was able to use, turned the swords of these foes of Israel 
against each other, and thus delivered His people who obeyed 
and trusted in Him, while He, in the same act, punished, by 
means of their own wickedness, those who had so plainly 
violated obligations palpable to all. 

The two cases selected are only peculiar in this respect, 
that they were of that public and general importance which 
precluded the possibility of mistake or deception ; and they 
have been taken, not as parts of a divine revelation, but as 
portions of authentic history. And the history of which they 
are parts is full of similar divine interpositions in the main- 
tenance of His law, both to reward and to punish. 

And it must be remembered that, while this rule was 
immediately over Israel for their good, its ultimate intention 
was as wide as the race. At the time Abram was chosen as 
the father of the Church, some special interposition was 
necessary to prevent the entire and universal departure of 
men from the Creator and Sustainer of all, as the one true 
and living God. Other reformers, among the Iranians and 


Egyptians, were employed in recalling men to a spiritual 
worship and a pure and righteous practice ; but they were 
members of nations already in existence, and hence were not 
able to perpetuate through the whole nation a reformation 
which they could not extend to all of their own time ; there- 
fore it was that the Lord chose Abraham, and of him made 
a nation, because the Lord " knew him, that he would com- 
mand his children and his household after him that they 
should keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and 

In this nation, therefore, trained from the time of its great 
father in fellowship with God, the Creator determined to 
perpetuate the remembrance of Himself by His continual 
operation, to chastise and to bless, until He should complete 
His revelation in the incarnation of His Son. Thus, through 
fifteen centuries of idolatry, with its consequent pollution, 
injustice, oppression, and debasement, He preserved among 
His own people the knowledge of Himself as the living God, 
the God of the spirits of all flesh, and the practice of 
righteousness and truth to men, which however defective 
through their unfaithfulness, was far in advance of the rest 
of the world. There was also established an outward and 
visible embodiment of divine rule, which has expounded the 
nature of that rule for all time as no didactic explanation could. 
Indeed, everything we know of God we know from facts, 
and we see how hopeless every other method is in the barren 
results of philosophical speculation, which, after 2,350 years 
since the birth of its Grecian branch, has not produced 
a single proposition concerning the divine nature and 
government which men generally are able to accept; and, 
however correct the conclusions arrived at may be, coming 
only from the cogitations of an individual mind, and that 
generally abnormal, they entirely lack authority, and therefore 
are never universally received. The history of philosophy is 
a history of alternations, and from Thales to the present time 
the propounding of any philosophic doctrine in one age 
has been the guarantee of a contradictory doctrine as its 
chronological successor. At this time no system of philosophy 
commands universal assent ; so that it is evident philosophy 
can never be the source of practical principles, can never be 
the instructress of humanity in the every-day business of 
life. .But the clear and explicit law of our Maker, illustrated 
by the examples of his continued rule, meets our entire need, 
and is capable of immediate and intelligent application. 
Thus it is, that by the records of divine government a child 
may become an expert in salvation. 


This condition of things, for our results are the results of 
facts, shows that we are brought into immediate contact 
with our King, and are able to render as true and immediate 
obedience to Him as to any human monarch ; and it is specially 
worthy of remembrance that, when the Son of God became 
incai'nate and appeared as the Saviour, He commenced His 
ministry by declaring that the kingdom of heaven was 
at hand. He was sought by the Persian Magi as he who 
was born king of the Jews, and His entire work and influence 
was described by John as the coming of the kingdom of 
heaven. The title which Pilate in derision put on the cross 
was true, not only with respect to the Jews, but to all people. 
Because " He humbled Himself and became obedient unto 
death, even the death of the cross ; therefore, God also hath 
highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above 
every name ; that at the name of Jesus every knee should 
bow, of things in heaven arid things in earth and things under 
the earth ; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus 
Christ is Lord," that is Ruler or King, " to the glory of God 
the Father." Thus it appears that the establishment of an 
economy of salvation does not relax the bonds of authority 
nor contract the range of responsibility, but intensifies both 
by transferring the dominion to His hands, who, by reason of 
His death, has spiritual power to recover the disobedient and 
bring the rebellious into subjection. 

We can only conceive of salvation as recovery, as deliver- 
ance from the power and practice of sin. And this, according 
to the Christian scheme, not only involves the breaking up of 
the power of habits of disobedience, but the mastery over all 
sinful inclinations and dispositions, and the establishment of 
reverence, filial fear, submission and love to God, as the ruling 
principles of the soul. But this is a condition in which a sense 
of responsibility becomes actual and active, to the extent of 
directing the whole life. But this subjection, when most per- 
fect, is felt to be simply natural. No individual power is 
suppressed or weakened, no social obligation is forgotten or 
violated ; all find scope, and all operate without friction or 
pain, because all is felt to be right. And in this testimony of 
the conscience is a strong, honourable, abiding joy, most 
sustaining and strengthening to the soul, which now feels that 
the only means of increased honour and strength, is a more 
perfect subjection to the divine King, and obedience to the 
law of the spirit of life written on the heart. 

But, if the above be the result of the recovery in those who 
experience the salvation of the Gospel, then it is evident 
responsibility to the Author and Sustainer of our nature is a 


primary and inseparable quality of the nature itself. And 
this receives confirmation from the fact that no other impulse 
is capable of developing the moral, which is the highest side 
of our nature, into heroic virtue, or of adorning the life with 
all that is true, honourable, just, pure, lovely, and of good 
report. One in whom this excellence is found more nearly 
approaches the ideal of perfect manhood than any other. 
Consequently, the power by whose operation this state is pro- 
duced, is most peculiarly and intensely human. But that 
power is a profound sense of responsibility in intense and 
continued operation. 

If we look at the contrast, that is, at a man who has no 
sense of responsibility, having suppressed every call to duty 
and all remembrance of benefits from others, and who now 
lives as though he were perfectly independent, we see one 
without a motive to virtue, and who can only act in mere 
concert with others from some individual and temporary 
interest of selfishness. A family, a city, a nation of such 
isolated units is impossible ; and yet the family, the city, the 
nation, are integral and necessary parts of complete humanity. 
Union in purpose and work is impossible among individuals 
who have no sense of responsibility ; but without such united 
purpose and action no cultivation of the mind, no improve- 
ment in outward conditions, no perpetuation of the race, and 
no life, but in the lowest barbarism and privation, is 
possible. Such a state of things is not the intended, as it is 
not the actual, condition of humanity, but it is the necessary 
consequence of the existence of beings with our endowments 
without responsibility. Had such been created, it would have 
been impossible to awaken a sense of responsibility after- 
wards ; and, had it been possible, who possessed the right to 
interfere with the Creator's work, and who could possibly have 
the inclination to impart such a gift to man ? Thus, by the 
necessity of nature, we are driven to the conclusion that man 
is liable to answer to his Maker for every endowment which 
has been committed to his trust. 

In discussing the question of Human Responsibility, we 
are bound to give all possible attention to the declarations of 
the divine will, and to all divine acts which have relation to 
this side of our nature. And this obligation arises from the 
fact that none can know the nature so well as its Author, and 
that He can have no purpose towards it but its improvement 
to the highest limits. Taking this as our rule of procedure 
and judgment, we cannot fail to see that, from the beginning, 
there has been a continual effort to awaken and perpetuate 


a sense of dependence for the entire need of our life. And 
the only conclusion to which, we can come, from this con- 
tinuous divine action, is that a perpetual sense of dependence 
that will call forth a filial trust, hope, confidence, and love, 
which will open the entire nature to the fatherly soothing 
counsel and strength of its Author, is the true normal con- 
dition of man. Nothing in divine action leads to the 
conclusion that we have to do with a rigid destiny, or a harsh 
despotism, but only with the heart of the Father of our 
spirits, who yearns over us to reclaim us to Himself, not for 
His advantage, but for ours. For this reason only He fills the 
path of apostasy and sin with briars and scorpions, but makes 
all which lead to His fatherly heart ways of pleasantness and 
paths of peace. 

It is only in this manner that we can consider that most 
wonderful divine intervention in human affairs, the Incarna- 
tion of the Son of God. That the Maker of all things should 
condescend to take our nature in its feebleness and suffering 
into union with Himself, so as to constitute one person, and 
to remain forever our brother and the Almighty's fellow, is a 
manifestation of care for, and interest in us, which is won- 
derful beyond all thought, and which, but for the abundant 
proof of its reality, we could not believe. And the wonder 
is increased by the fact, that the present and perpetual 
administration of the divine government, which is in His 
hands, is as truly tender and brotherly as was the original 
impulse which prompted Him to love us, and give Himself 
for us. 

The individual government of the Saviour over those who 
receive Him is most perfect, springing out of a union so 
intimate as to be only properly described as " Christ in you," 
" Christ dwelling in the heart," the counterpart of which is 
a most perfect submission to Him in all things, which the 
Apostle Paul describes thus : " Whether we live, we live 
unto the Lord ; or whether we die we die unto the Lord : 
whether we live, therefore, or die, we are the Lord's." And 
again, after this manner : " Whose I am, and whom I serve " ; 
and "I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me/' In this 
complete subjection, however, there is no coercion, the only 
constraint is the constraint of love. In the love of Christ 
they are rooted and grounded, so as to be able to apprehend 
its breadth and length, and depth and height, and so to be 
filled with it, unto all the fulness of God. This causes such 
persons to be followers of God as dear children, and to walk 
in love as Christ loved them, and gave Himself for them. An 
emotional bond of this strength cannot fail to bring the 


whole nature under subjection. But these bonds are willing 
bonds, being only a response to the love of Christ, which 
surpasseth knowledge ; and the law which we obey, although 
perfect in its range, extending to all actions, words, disposi- 
tions, and thoughts is, after all, the perfect law of liberty ; so 
that, in this condition of perfect subjection, the individual will 
and purpose are most fully accomplished. 

We cannot look upon this peculiarly fatherly rule of God 
as anything else than the complete accomplishment of His 
original purpose with respect to man, because it has been 
brought about by the atoning and mediatorial work of the God- 
man, who united in His own person the two natures, as the 
means and the type of the union between God and men above 
described. Thus, we are taught what the Creator intended 
for man, and from the extraordinary means used to accomplish 
it, when imperilled by a general apostasy, we learn the ail- 
but infinite importance attached by Him to its accomplish- 

We cannot fail, however, to see, from the complete series of 
divine acts in the government of men, that in placing the 
whole race in a condition of responsibility, and in implanting 
an indelible sense of it in every human soul, there could not 
be, as the final purpose, a mere assertion of authority. We 
must look beyond the authority to the consequences of its 
exercise in those who submit to it. And here at once we see 
a benevolence which is equal, in its purity and strength, to the 
fountain whence it sprang and to the channel by which it has 
flowed to us. The immediate effect of this submission/ is the 
establishment of a condition of conscious peace with God, 
which is the means and the authority for a continuous friendly 
intercourse between the Creator and His creature ; maintained 
on the part of the creature by grateful thanks for good already 
bestowed, a worship of submission, hope, love, and trust, and 
prayer for present and continued acts of fatherly love and 
blessing. In these exercises there is neither vagueness nor 
uncertainty, as there is no doubt concerning the assurance of 
love, the excitement of courage, hope, and faith, and the 
infusion of new life into the soul from the Lord. In this 
intercourse, under a divine illumination, the glories of the 
divine nature, as shown in the records of His providence and 
grace, are more distinctly and more fully seen, and thus an 
impulse to higher devotion and more perfect virtue is given. 
In this manner, beyond the peace and rest from which it 
starts, . the intercourse with God is the means of increased 
vigour, righteousness, truth, purity, and goodness. 

There is, however, a joy in this fellowship which arises 


directly by the operation of the Spirit of the Lord, and which 
is augmented by the consciousness of all the friendly and 
gracious relations in which, by the effected reconciliation, 
we stand to our heavenly Father, which, in the happiness and 
strength it produces, surpasses all other joy, and is declared 
to be " unspeakable and full of glory." But it must be 
always remembered that the first and largest element of this 
joy is the sense of reconciliation, that is, the consciousness 
that the condition of rebellion has ceased, and that the subject 
of the joy has been brought into a state of harmony with and 
subjection to God. Thus this richest donation of divine 
grace shows that a condition of actual submission to God 
is not only perfectly proper and natural to man, but that 
it is the highest and happiest condition to which he can 

This is evidently the true view of the end and purpose of 
human responsibility, so far as our Maker himself has shown 
it; and we cannot conceive of any other result but the most 
perfect development of our nature in all its beauty and 
strength, as the consequence of full acquiescence in the 
divine purpose, by unlimited subordination. This side of the 
question, however, is generally lost sight of, and it is discussed 
as though the subordination was claimed by an alien authority 
for its own selfish purposes. This course is all the more 
strange when we remember the essential peculiarities of our 
nature in this life, as, that we are capable of boundless know- 
ledge, and equally of unlimited mistakes ; that we begin life 
in total ignorance, and, to perpetuate it, are compelled to 
consider its immediate need and supply it. So far as the life 
of the body is concerned, we cannot go far wrong without 
immediate check ; and, in all metaphysical speculation, 
because of the remoteness and uncertainty of its results, a 
mistake is not of much moment; but in the cultivation or 
restraint of the moral side of our nature, which rules our 
practice, and so affects others also, mistake or perverseness is 
of most serious consequence to our own character and to the 
happiness of others. 

There is also this peculiarity about all failure in this side of 
our nature; as it can only take place by the determination of 
our individual will, so there is special unwillingness to retrace 
any false step, and thus a course of continuous deterioration 
and mischief follows from a first step, which only diverged 
slightly from the path of uprightness. Is it not likely, there- 
fore, that He who has so richly endowed us in every other 
respect will, with equal care, prompt, restrain, guide, and 
stimulate us in the cultivation of those dispositions, and in the 


pursuit of that course of life which will enable us to obtain 
the full measure of benefit from His primary gifts ? 

That this is the tendency of the divine government of man, 
is plain from the use to which individual responsibility is put. 
We are not so much called to answer for the number of 
prayers we offer, of psalms we sing, or of oblations we present, 
as to how we act to our parents, children, masters, servants, 
neighbours, friends, or enemies ; in short, to all men, in so far 
a3 our action touches them. All who are brought into the 
fellowship of Christ walk as He also walked ; that same mind 
of righteousness, pity, purity, truth, and benevolence which 
was in Him is also in them, so that they are fruitful in 
every good work. They are required not only to be blame- 
less and harmless, the sons of God without blemish, in the 
midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom 
they are seen as lights of the world, but also to remember 
that " our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, gave Himself 
for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify 
unto Himself a people for His own possession, zealous of 
good works." In all the Epistles of the New Testament, the 
fruit of faith is shown to be the fulfilling of every social duty. 
And there can be no question but that the finest examples 
of righteous, pure, true, and benevolent living have been 
the fruit of that thorough submission to the Saviour, which 
Paul expressed as, " Christ liveth in me." Without such 
works, faith is declared to be vain and dead. 

It is evident that, as the number of such persons increases 
in any community, the various forms of iniquity which too 
frequently appear in the intercourse of men to the dishonour 
and degradation of the perpetrators and to the mischief of 
others, must diminish, and, when they are universally pre- 
valent, must entirely cease. Then all the misery, and more 
than half the sorrow of life, would end, while the honour, 
pleasure, and sti-ength of such a community would constantly 
increase. In such a state, however, there would be nothing 
beyond a purely natural life, that is, a life in harmony with 
our relations to our Maker and to our fellow-creatures. But 
there is no moral power capable of producing this state, but 
such a full submission to God as is comprehended in our 
accountability to Him. 

While we are without limit accountable to God, we see that 
a subordinate and secondary accountability runs through all 
our relations to others. Children are liable to answer to their 
parents, and without this subordination it would be impos- 
sible to train them to the duties of life. No compact of any 


kind can be made without bringing each of the parties under 
obligation to fulfil severally his part of the contract. All 
magistrates are responsible to the head of the state for the 
administration of the law, and all private persons are required 
to keep their practice within the prohibitions of the law under 
which they live. No man is at liberty to touch the property 
of another or in any way to damage his interests. There 
cannot be a school, a factory, or an army, but you have 
subordination, and consequent responsibility, running in an 
unbroken chain from top to bottom. In fact, no human 
organisation can exist without it, and this comes from no 
arbitrary superimposed law, but by necessity of nature. Man 
must be unmade, and re-made after another pattern, if he 
could engage in combined action without responsibility ; and 
without such action the race must die out. 

Further discussion as to the accountability of man to man 
is unnecessary, as it is impossible to escape from it, communal 
life demanding authority and restraint everywhere. We may, 
therefore, review our conclusions, and so come to a logical 
result as a guide to practice. 

We have seen that we are dependent on others for our life, 
first, on our parents ; but, as they also are equally dependent 
on theirs, we are led on to the first Cause and Giver of 
human life. No man can make himself now, nor could 
the first man. From our bodily structure, and from the 
faculties and capabilities of our mind, it is evident that we 
cannot have come into being by the mechanical or chemical 
action of matter, nor from both combined, but that our 
Maker must be a Being of supreme intelligence and power. 
It also has appeai*ed that we are equally dependent on Him 
for the continuance of our life ; not only as His will prolongs 
or cuts it short, but as His providence continues the condi- 
tions necessary for its preservation ; and that we are under 
His rule absolutely, as to our body and our means of operat- 
ing by it on the world without us ; being unable to depart 
from the course prescribed for us without injury or destruc- 
tion. The limits of our ability in this direction are narrow, 
well defined, and invariable. We are also evidently under 
a similar invariable rule as to our moral action ; so that we 
can indulge in no vice without deterioration in honour and 
strength ; nor can we trespass on the rights of others, but 
we bring ourselves under the restraint and chastisement of 
the laws which the community imposes as a necessary bond 
of union and protection. 


But we have capabilities and wants which the material uni- 
verse and our fellow-men cannot fully meet or develope. Thus 
we have seen that from the beginning of human history, we 
have evidence that men, by a universal intuition, have aspired 
after fellowship with their Maker, not the attainment of 
mere abstract knowledge, but a true communion of thought, 
emotion, and action ; and that they have so far found what 
they sought, as to persevere in the practice till now, when 
religion is more prevalent and more powerful than ever 
before. The Creator, who has made the eye for light, the 
atmosphere for breath, and the lungs for breathing ; who has 
given us discernment, and spread the universe before us as an 
open book for us to read ; and who has so made and ordered all 
our bodily members as to suit the conditions in which He 
has placed us, cannot have given higher faculties than sensa- 
tion and intellect, to leave them without a possibility of exer- 
cise, by failing to respond to the faculty which He has given 
for no other purpose, but as a means of access to Himself, 
and the attainment of knowledge concerning His modes of 
operation, in cases which supply no other data from which 
to start our cogitations. 

This prepared us to look for direct and unquestionable 
fellowship with the Creator, nor were we disappointed. We 
have records of such fellowship from the beginning of human 
existence ; and, as though on purpose to remove the pos- 
sibility of doubt or mistake both as to the fact and to the 
nature of the intercourse, He has connected the most perfect 
display of His moral glory and of His condescension to man 
with the government of a nation, in which He maintained His 
own law by an effectual administration all the way through, 
showing that He who was king in Israel was the ruler of the 
world, by employing the substance, forces, and life thereof 
as His instruments of government. By the same effectual 
rule he has preserved this people distinct from all others, so 
that, although for eighteen centuries they have been without 
a country, and scattered as aliens over the face of the earth, 
yet they are nowhere absorbed, but retain their identity still ; 
but, wherever they go, they carry with them as their Magna 
Charta the records of that divine government which extended 
through 1,400 years, although they testify to the disobedience 
and rebellion of their fathers, and declare that their continued 
unbelief and sin are the cause of their own present alienation ; 
and as -these records were more scrupulously made, are more 
complete, have been more carefully preserved, and enter more 
fully into the national life than those of any other people, so 
they possess the greatest historic value. To deny them would 


be to invalidate all history. We Have no stronger assurance 
that Caesar invaded Britain than that God brought the 
Israelites out of Egypt and through the Red Sea. We have 
no better proof of the result of the Battle of Agincourt than 
we have of the overthrow of the Ammonites, Moabites, and 
the people of Mount Seir by their own swords. 

Thus, by a long series of carefully-recorded events, we find 
the reality of a divine rule of man is attested, and in our 
present condition we have abundant proof that it is neither 
relaxed nor restricted. We cannot remove our body from the 
operation of the physical laws of the Creator, nor can we take 
our soul out of the control of His moral law, or prevent a 
single action of our life from recording its moral verdict in 
our nature itself. To submit to this rule insures our highest 
good, because it is that of the Father of our spirits, who can 
have no purpose adverse to us, and because it enlists the 
authority, power, and wisdom of the Author and Ruler of the 
Universe for the accomplishment of our desires and the im- 
provement of our nature. But to resist and rebel is to oppose 
our highest interest, and can only result in degradation and 
ruin : " Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the 
earth," but " woe unto him that striveth with his Maker." 

The CHAIRMAN (Mr. W. N. WEST). Had the author of the paper been pre- 
sent instead of in the southern hemisphere, it would have been a great pleasure 
to have accorded him in person a vote of thanks for having favoured us with 
so interesting a paper, and I am sure all feel that such a vote should be 
accorded. We have to thank Mr. Dent for his kindness in reading the 
paper, and we shall now be happy to hear any remarks that may be offered. 

Rev. J. J. LIAS, M.A. (in responding to a call), said, I feel that I am 
in the position of an advocate who has no case to argue against. I regard 
the paper as an extremely able one. What strikes me with regard to the 
papers read before this Institute as a rule is, that it does not seem desirable 
for us to indulge in anything like microscopic criticism as to an expression 
used here, or a remark made there, which might either have been improved, 
or which might have been omitted. We ought, I think, to have regard to 
the whole drift of the paper, which, I think is, in this case, one likely to 
advance the cause we all have at heart. (Hear, hear.) It certainly seems to 
me that the points the author has brought under our notice are well 
deserving of consideration, and that this is especially the case with regard 
to one or two of the matters he has discussed. A few days ago I happened 
to be present at the reading of a paper in the Divinity School at 
Cambridge, written by Professor MacAlister, a learned man of science, 
who has devoted himself, among other things, to the study of Egyptian 
antiquities. The paper he then read was a very remarkable one on 
the "Ritual of the Dead," as employed in the early Egyptian religion, and 


it appears to me that there is one point which the author of the present 
paper has not brought out with sufficient distinctness, but which the facts 
actually prove to have been the case, namely, that the further we go back 
in the history of these ancient nations the more clear it appears to be that 
the religious principle was originally based on the monotheistic idea. It 
seems to me that in those early times the primary spiritual ideas con- 
nected with religion are more clearly displayed, and that, especially in the 
case of Egypt, the further we go back the more unmistakably do we find that, 
just as the Egyptian architecture was more pure and perfect in the earliest 
periods, so were the religious ideas of the Egyptian people of a purer and 
more perfect nature. The same remark will apply to the Assyrian religion ; 
but, as to the Persian and Chinese religions, I can hardly speak of them 
because I have not studied them. I think that the more we study the 
points set forth in this paper the more does the author, who is so far removed 
from all intercourse with modern thought and from the opportunities 
afforded by the libraries and other aids we have around us, appear to demand 
our sympathy and admiration for having so ably thought out and discussed 
these matters. There is one point on page 13 of the paper which struck 
me. The author says : " The force of this important series of facts 
is not invalidated nor weakened by the consideration that in some of the 
cases referred to the objects of worship were spurious ; but it is rather 
strengthened by the fact that so dominant is the sense of need, and so 
prevalent the persuasion of the possibility of access to God, on whom we 
depend, that when all true knowledge of Him was lost and only false sub- 
stitutes for the living God existed, which could not help, yet, even then, the 
practice of worship was continued through successive generations of dis- 
appointment, all of whom were ready to ascribe the failure to the imperfec- 
tion of the worship rather than to the impotence or the indifference of their 
gods." The author here puts in a striking form the argument that human 
nature cannot do without a power outside of and superior to itself, as 
Matthew Arnold says, " A not-ourselves that makes for righteousness." We 
cannot do without something beyond ourselves which will help us to fight 
for the right ; we are bound to acknowledge the necessity for an appeal to 
that Power for whose aid we feel, as poor human creatures, we stand in need. 
On page 15 the author travels over the same ground to that which I have 
traversed in a paper read before this Institute, namely, that we are not to 
look upon God as a mere abstraction of the human intellect, or a creation of 
our own minds, but as a concrete Being, the source of all life, a Being outside 
and beyond ourselves, who has created us, and who brought the whole world 
into existence. There is another point, also, which seems worthy of 
notice, and that is on page 17, where the author states that the God, 
" who has so made and ordered all our bodily members as to suit the con- 
ditions- in which He has placed us, cannot have given higher faculties than 
sensation and intellect, to leave them without a possibility of exercise, by 
failing to respond to a faculty which He has given for no other purpose but 
as a means of access to Himself, and the attainment of knowledge concern- 


ing His modes of operation in cases which supply no other data from which 
to start our cogitations." This is a point that has always struck me as being 
one of very great force. In the physical world we see a marvellous 
adaptability of means to ends. In whatever department of physical science 
we pursue our studies we find this remarkable evidence of purpose and 
design. And yet there are those who tell us that all the higher strivings 
of our nature which lead us to devotion to God, which bring forth 
prayer and a sense of dependence, and which lie at the bottom of all 
religion, are produced in us without an object that the mere physical 
faculties have a distinct and definite purpose, but that those which are 
highest of all have been brought into existence for no reason whatever. It 
seems to me that nothing can be more self-condemnatory than a notion such 
as this, that all that is worthiest and best in human nature was given to us 
without a purpose, but that all the lowest, the meanest, and the most com- 
monplace of our faculties have been bestowed upon us for special and definite 
objects. I agree, however, with a remark I heard made the other day at a 
meeting at Cambridge by the Eight Hon. W. E. Forster, who said he 
always felt when he got up to speak as if he were in the House of Commons, 
and that, whether he had an antagonist or not, he was obliged to think he 
had one. Like Mr. Forster, I also fancy that I can get on best when I 
have an antagonist ; but in the present instance I cannot term Mr. 
Blencowe an antagonist, because he is in perfect sympathy with myself, 
and, this being so, the best thing I can do is to finish what I have to say, 
and resume my seat. (Applause.) 

Mr. W. P. JAMES, F.L.S. I have much the same feeling with regard to 
this paper as has been expressed by Mr. Lias, namely, that I agree so entirely 
with it that it is scarcely possible to say anything in regard to it that is not 
in the shape of praise. I quite concur in the statement that it would be 
peculiarly ungracious to enter upon a minute criticism of this paper, 
especially as the author is not present. I think it a most interesting one, 
and that some parts of it are extremely well put. If anything is open to 
criticism it is the title, which hardly does it justice. It is rather a branch 
of the theistic argument in general than a mere discourse on human 
responsibility. It seems to me to take a much wider field than that indicated 
by the title, and to deal with the proof of theism from the point of view of 
man's responsibility to the Creator, at the same time introducing the subject 
of creation in general. Some of the earlier parts of the paper I consider 
exceedingly well presented, especially in reference to the various arrange- 
ments in nature, from which we must infer a Creator. I may, 
perhaps, say that among those things from which we generally deduce 
the argument from design, I myself stumbled on one, which I have not 
yet seen in print, but which I have several times adduced in arguments I 
have had with Secularists and Atheists. On one occasion I offered to stake 
the argument from design upon it, but the challenge was not replied to 
The point is this that when we consider what we see in the world aroun 
us, there is scarcely any single thing which furnishes so strong an argum en 

for the existence of a Creator as a fact which, perhaps, has been very little 
thought of in this connection, namely, that, as astronomy teaches us, the 
earth is constantly subject to two distinct motions, the first being that by 
which it spins round on its own axis with tremendous velocity ; and the 
second that by which it performs its enormous orbit round the sun, a circuit 
which is also made at a marvellous rate of speed. Now, when we come to 
think of it, the world could not be inhabited unless it were so arranged 
that these tremendous movements should be imperceptible to the creatures 
upon its surface and, as a matter of fact, so imperceptible are both 
these movements that a very long time elapsed before the people liviHg 
upon the planet became aware of them. This imperceptibility of the move- 
ments of the earth I regard as a strong argument in favour of the probability 
that the world was prepared for habitation before man appeared upon it. 
The arrangements, whatever they are, by which this result is attained, 
such, for instance as the existence of the atmosphere, must be the effect 
of various complex causes, which certainly seem very plainly to indicate 
that the earth was intended for the habitation of beings for whom 
it was essential that they should not be conscious of its motions through 
space, and who must be sheltered against what might % otherwise be 
the effect of those motions during every moment of their lives. On page 5 
of the paper there is a most able exposure of a very common fallacy as 
to the word " homogeneous." A great many people who read the works of 
Herbert Spencer are much misled by the use of this word, and there can be 
no doubt that ifc is used in a very vague way. It is one of those con- 
venient words which, much more than the expression '' anthropomorphic," 
conceal great confusion of thought. As far as the Greek word 
" homogeneous " goes, it simply means " of the same kind," and I fancy 
this gets so fixed in people's heads, that when they talk of the original 
nebula being homogeneous they suppose it was all of one kind. I 
think, however, -when we come to reflect upon it, we shall find there is no 
reason to suppose that matter at the beginning was all of one kind. If by 
homogeneous is simply meant a nebula of uniform consistence which is 
probably what Herbert Spencer means then, as Mr. Blencowe shows, 
it is not really homogeneous, for the nebula consists of atoms of the 
elements of which we at present know sixty-three ; therefore, it is not 
homogeneous, but on the contrary, very heterogeneous. I should like 
to know how an atom of hydrogen could be changed into one of 
carbon, or sulphur, or iron, or bismuth, or gold, or any other metal ; 
and yet this is what would be meant by evolution in a physical 
sense, As a matter of fact, no one has ever known an atom of hydrogen 
become anything but an atom of hydrogen. As regards the note on 
page 8, the evolution theory is that certain animals placed in the depths 
of the. ocean were once without eyes, as, indeed, is the case now. These 
creatures do not appear to require them, and manage to get on very well 
without them; and, this being so, one cannot see why they should not 
remain satisfied with their condition in this respect. But, according to the 


evolutionists \ve are to assume that these animals became dissatisfied with 
their want of vision ; that certain small fibres along the surface of their 
bodies become slightly sensitive to light, and thus they are ultimately led to 
develope visual organs. Why this should be, we cannot see, nor are wo 
told of what use it can be to them to become slightly sensitive to the action 
of light. But, nevertheless, this is the orthodox theory, and we must not 
call it in question. Well, then, having been thus rendered slightly sensitive 
to light for a thousand years or so, the sensitiveness increases, and this is 
the theory as to how eyes are developed ! When we have regard to all the 
long nascent stages which so many generations of these animals must 
necessarily undergo in the working out of this process, the absurdity of the 
whole thing is rendered manifest ; and I do not see how such a theory can 
be treated, except by laughing at it. I think the part of the paper. 
which deals with the force of conscience, puts the subject in a very clear and 
able way. It is merely an adaptation of the thoughts expressed by Bishop 
Butler ; but there can be no doubt whatever, without any appeal to 
authority, that the universality of the faculty of conscience is one of the 
great arguments for theism and the existence of God. The three main 
arguments for this proposition are, the metaphysical argument, the argument 
from nature, and the argument founded on conscience. The metaphysical 
argument, which, I think, hardly deserves all the hard names that have been 
applied to it, is, nevertheless, one of the leading proofs of a First Cause ; 
the argument from nature is, likewise, a powerful one ; but the argument 
from conscience is, I suppose, the strongest of all, and I think Mr. 
Elencowe has put it in an exceedingly able manner. 

Mr. R. J. HAMMOND. In page 5 of the paper the author says, " The 
man who is placed at the head of a grand operative establishment, having a 
large capital and many subordinates under his control, is bound to greater 
carefulness, diligence, and fidelity, than any one under him." Thus, the 
pressure is put on the human conscience. Then, the author goes on to 
say, " By this rule, how truly boundless is our responsibility to the Creator 
and Upholder of all things." The higher the position the greater the 
responsibility. The ruler of a state becomes the servant of that state ; 
the head of a government becomes the servant of his fellow- creatures and 
cannot sleep as they do, for the cares imposed upon him. This, it should 
be remembered, is a responsibility which follows what the rulers have 
learnt from the Divine Controller of the Universe. The Son of God has 
been down on earth and has taken the place of a servant, cay ing, "My 
Father worketh hitherto, and I work." The divine image of the Father has 
taken the place of a servant. 

Mr. J. HASSELL. I admire the passage on page 7 of the paper, 
where the writer shows the tnie effect of the human conscience in 
the desire and need for God. I hold that the mind of man could 
never have formed an idea of God, had there not been a God. There 
must have been the prototype; for it is impossible to form an idea 
from what does net exist. We ought never to omit the opportunity of 


putting before the people the argument so well urged by the author of 
the paper, that God is not the abstract idea of Herbert Spencer that He 
is not the metaphysical Absolute, Unconditioned, and Infinite of those who 
adopt Herbert Spencer's views. According to the metaphysical idea of 
these men, it is impossible to think of such a being as God. With them 
God becomes "unthinkable"; without attributes, relations, thought, or 
action, and, therefore, as the author has put it, "without being." I 
assert that God has relations, as He is our Father, and our King ; 
and we are equally related to Him as His creatures, for whom He 
framed laws, and for whose wants He makes provision. As opposed to the 
God of Herbert Spencer, the God of the Bible is a Being of infinite 
love and compassion ; One with whom we can have conscious intercourse, 
for He is a person a God, whom we have the power to realise and come 
into contact and communion with, and is not the metaphysical abstract of 
the Spencerian philosophy. In opposition to the theory of evolution, I 
would stand out for the grand principle that God made all His creatures 
perfect in their order, leading up by various gradations to man, the crown- 
ing work of all, a being formed in His own image, able to worship Him, 
and capable of personal contact with Him. 

Kev. W. C. BARLOW. In regard to " the terrible charge of being 
anthropomorphic," page 15, I have never found anything in that term at all 
like what is described in Austin Caxton's book. What is there regarded as 
the terrible resonance of the Greek, has not, in reality, any alarming power, 
Indeed, the word quoted by the author seems to me a most valuable word, 
and one that we have no need to apologise for. On the contrary, I think 
we ought strongly to insist on its being the correct word. We are talking 
everywhere about God as He is known, or can be, or ought to be known to 
us ; and all human knowledge must come under human forms of thought. 
There must, therefore, be, as I understand Mr. Blencowe to say, an anthropo- 
morphic character in all our knowledge of God. Besides, a word like this 
has the merit of suggesting a correlated word. It is one of the words which 
must come with another word in order to complete the meaning, and on 
page 15 the word is treated of in relation to the question of the probability 
of a revelation from God to man. That revelation begins almost by an 
affirmation that man is theomorphic, for " God said, Let us make man in 
our image," the correlative being that God must be known to man in an | 
anthropomorphic way. That is a point which I think justifies one in saying 
henceforth we may glory in the reproach which is conveyed in the censure 
put upon the word anthropomorphic. We need that word to enable us t 
declare the whole of the idea, which we hold is only true when it is taken 
as a whole. (Hear.) 

The meeting was then adjourned. 



This paper arouses the mind very forcibly to the consideration of the 
question, what must be our ultimate defence against Modern Materialism / 
I think the true answer is, unquestionably, we must take our stand on History. 
"We have, perhaps, too long expended our powers in chiefly endeavouring to 
show the weak points in the Materialist's line of thought, we have dealt 
largely in negatives. It is not very difficult to show that many of the 
assumptions of the materialist are too absurd for belief ; and yet it is 
possible to mistake or misstate them. For instance, the Materialist does 
not attribute design to the animal or plant that improves itself. The note 
on page 8 correctly expresses the evolutionist's theory : but he would not, as 
on the same page, speak of an animal " discerning the advantage of tenta- 
cula," &c. With the materialists the will and intelligence are simply 
"physical phenomena produced by, or associated with " molecular processes," 
excited in the brain by external circumstances; the will or ''cogitation" has 
no hand in Evolution, only the inherent forces of nature, or whatever other 
term may be used; so that, as Professor Huxley SHVS, "the whole world, 
living and not living, is the result of the mutual inter-action, according to 
definite laws, of the forces possessed by the molecules of which the primitive 
nebulosity of the universe was composed." These forces, however, always 
manage to work for harmony ; and the evolutionists are obliged to use, or 
choose to use, the language of intelligence. Darwin's phrase " natural selec- 
tion " is a case in point. This always seems to me a tacit, though no doubt 
unwilling, testimony to the fast, that "final causes" are being worked up to ; 
and it is difficult to conceive that, without supposing previous intention 
somewhere. And yet intention is no part of the Evolutionist's theory. 

How are we then, in our turn, to explain the potency or potencies, or 
whatever term may be acceptable, under which the Cosmos is what 
it is ? Mr. Herbert Spencer unifies this effort in Nature, and expresses 
it as " an Infinite and Eternal Energy from which all things proceed." 
Our mission is to show that the Infinite and Eternal Energy is the Energy 
of an Infinite and Eternal Intelligence : and to persuade men of this 
we must fortify our statement that this Intelligence has spoken to man 
Natural Religion and mere reason have not weapons strong enough 
for the entire defeat of Materialism. We need Revelation. In short, 
we must gather our forces more and more within the domain of 
History. 'Ihe "inward testimony" of man a point emphatically brought 
out in Mr. Blencowe's paper existing as far back as we can trace his 
history, to the existence of a Creator and Upholder of all things, is, in fact, 


the result of that Creator's revelation of Himself. The ancient literature of 
the nations, and the records that are being disentombed from the long- 
forgotten mounds of Eastern cities, are to furnish, especially in their 
confirmation of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, the best weapons 
against Modern Scepticism. To the man, who is convinced that God has 
spoken, materialism becomes necessarily an empty and useless dream. And, 
as regards the prominent topic of this paper, to the man, who is convinced 
of an Infinite and Eternal Intelligence, the Author of all being, the doctrine 
of human responsibility becomes an intense reality, the pole-star of human 
moral life : while to the materialist it is but one result of what have been 
called " social forces," and must be as changeable and evanescent as " social 
forces " themselves have ever been. 



King of Babylon. 

On Recently-discovered Inscriptions of 

this King. 






King of Babylon. 

On Recently-discovered Inscriptions of 
this King. 



rlHE excavations carried on in Mesopotamia during the last 
_I_ few years have been productive of especially good 
results. Not only has Assyrian grammar and lexicography 
been enriched by magnificent " finds " of bilingual and 
grammatical tablets, but a considerable quantity of history 
has been made known to us through the discovery of cylinders 
which were inscribed during the latter years of the Babylonian 
Empire. They are peculiarly valuable, because they are the 
productions of those who lived at the time when the events 
happened which they record. Moreover, by means of the 
numerous contract and loan tablets which are in the collection 
of our National Museum, a keener insight has been afforded 
us of the commercial and other affairs of the Babylonian and 

Assyrian Empires. Only a few years ago the discovery of 
the Egibi tablets revealed the great loan and banking system 
that was carried on in Babylon. Recently a valuable historical 
cylinder of Cyrus the Great showed exactly what was going 
on in Babylon at the time of the actual capture of the city. 
This is "perhaps the most interesting cuneiform document 
that has yet been discovered/'* Other tablets give the reasons 
and circumstances of the actual capture. Among other things 
brought home recently were two inscribed cones, one very 
much rubbed and almost illegible in many places ; the other 
broken into three pieces, but fortunately containing the text 
in a fair state of preservation. One inscription is an amplifica- 
tion of the other, and both relate to Nebuchadnezzar, and are 
the subject of this paper. They are very interesting, the 
spelling on them is very curious, and a great deal is said 
concerning the gods and goddesses of Babylon. They mutely 
proclaim the glory of the great king, who said : " Is not this 
great Babylon that I have built for the house of the kingdom by 
the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty ? " f 
The inscription is written throughout in the peculiar Baby- 
lonian style, and as far as possible these peculiarities have 
been reproduced in type. 

The inscription begins with "Nebuchadnezzar, the King of 
Babylon, the exalted prince, the worshipper of the god 
Marduk, the prince supreme, the beloved of the god Nebo. 
I am established, the unfearing one, the restorer of the 
temple of the ' lofty head ' and the temple of Zida, who to 
the god Nebo, and the god Marduk, his lords, worship also 
has performed before them (?). The exalted one, he who 
causes the ituti to be deep, the messenger of the great gods, 
the eldest son of Nabopolassar, the king of Babylon I am." 

^Nabopolassar is the f .^E BSfT^T *$fc 
*: l5^lTy Ndbu-pal-usur of the cuneiform inscriptions. 
Concerning Nabopolassar, it is known that he was a general 
who was rewarded with the crown of Babylon for satisfactorily 
quelling a revolt. He made Babylon a tolerably powerful 
kingdom and this was the more easily accomplished from the 
fact that the Assyrian power had been utterly overthrown. 
It is self-evident that he left his reviving power in strong 
and energetic hands. The name Nebuchadnezzar has been 
explained in various ways by scholars, possibly because the 
name has been found written differently in the text of the Bible. 

* Sir H C. Eawlinson in the Jnl. R.A.S,, vol. xii. p. 70. 
t Daniel iv. 30. In the text itself, verse 27. 

It is commonly written T!2i < WT3^3 then rarely 
The LXX write it Naflov^oSovoaop, and Berosus Nafiov\o- 
Sovoaopoc;. The generally-accepted meaning of the name is, 
" Nebo defend the landmark," or, in Assyrian, Nabu-kudur- 
u*ur. The first part of the name is Nabu, i.e. " the 
prophet." The ideograph for his name is ->^- *~T**"f or 
*->^- ^^1 and the Semitic explanation of this is given 
(W.A.I, ii. 60, 46), to be *-J(- ^y JlJ ^Iff Na-bi-um 

or Nebo ; Syriac, Q<QJ. A curious ideograph for this god is 


found in W.A.I, ii. 48, thus : Si*"" *~^I^\1 and the 

reads ^Q- ^U TIM-SAR. His wife's name 
was Tasmetum, or " the hearer/' the ideograph for whose 
name was y<r, and its pronunciation ji^- *^~ ^fyy KUR- 
NTT-UN. Nebo is called by the following titles (W.A.I, i. 
2, 60, 29-40 : " Nebo the son of Merodach, the first-born god, 
the creator of the oracle, the creator of writing and written 
tablets, the god of knowledge," etc. Moreover, on the 
colophons of tablets it is frequently said that " Nebo and 
Tasmit gave the king broad ears, and his seeing eyes regarded 
the secrets of Nebo, the literature of the library, etc." He 
ranked as one of the great gods, and we know his 
worship was wide-spread and carried on even until after the 
death of Christ, for Addai, one of the seventy-two apostles, 
preaching to the inhabitants of Edessa, asks, " Who is this 
Nebo, an idol made which ye worship, and Bel which ye 
honour ? " f There was a temple dedicated to Nebo 
at Borsippa. 

The word kudur, " landmark," is often found in the 
cuneiform inscriptions, and " remover of borders and land- 
marks " is a title given to Rimmon-Nirari, and to Ninip.J 
Nebuchadnezzar apparently first took care to build and 
restore the temples of B-SAG-ILI (Jpflj Jf^f Ef^SBT) 
and E-Z1DA. S^ ^j *< The first, or "lofty- 

* Jeremiah xxxix. 1, 11 ; xliii. 10; Ezekiel xxix. 18. 

t : 01^ ^oAj) ^ip..cD> l t '*^ v IpAa oru faoi 

p jD r Tnibner & Co.). Ol^ ^oAj| ^.;o.Vr% VJu^Q It is curious 
to note that the LXX translate the "123 of Isaiah xlvi. 1, by Aaywj/, 
yymrnachus writes the name Nf/3oti, Aquila and Theodotion, Na8w. 
t Norris Diet., p. 539, and W.A.I., 4, 44, 9. 
A 2 

headed/' was the shrine of the god Bel. The celebrated 
golden image which Nebuchadnezzar made was of this god.* 
The second temple was dedicated to Anu. Now Bel was one 
of the first great triad of gods, which consisted of Anu, Ea, 
and Bel, and all these were the children of Zigaru, "the sky." 
Zigaru is the gloss given by W.A.I., ii. 48, 26, and is the 

s equated 

pronunciation of the ideograph ^t^ 

with the Assyrian ^ >^ ^flf^i somu, Hebrew 
, The following are the names, ideographs, and glosses of the 
names of the three great gods (W.A.I., ii. 48). 




Hf- TC *- BTTT 

D.P. A - nu - um 


-HF- -11 ^T 

D.P. En - til 

fem ^I<J TD 



ff -II ?* T- 

Anum is the Assyrian form of the Accadian *->^f- *~^"| 
AN-NA.f Ea was the "king of rivers and gardens," and, 
as we see from the above extract, bil nemiki bit la-6i-i, 
"lord of deep wisdom and knowledge." He was the 
husband of Bahu or chaos (the *\T\3. of Gen. i. 2), and made 
father of Bel-Merodach, the tutelary deity of Babylon. Sir 
Henry Rawlinson thinks the monotheistic Hebrews of Ur 
belonged to the followers of Ea, he says : " He was the 
'Creator of mankind,' 'the God of life and knowledge,' 'the 
Lord of Thib (the blessed city) or Paradise/ and exhibits 
many other traces of identity with the Elohim of the Jews. 
There seems, indeed, to be an allusion to this deity being 

* Concerning the statue of Bel, see Daniel, chap. iii. ; Herodotus, bk. i. ; 
Strabo, xvi. ; Pliny, vi. chap. xxvi. ; Q. Curtius, lib. v. ; Arrianus, lib. vii. ; 
and Selden, De Diis Syris, p. 193 et seq, 

t The following extract shows these gods had other names (S. 35) : 

HF- -II H 
-HF- -Ell 

-HF- <mv 

-HF- T? 
Hf- -II 
-HF- t| 

accepted by the Monotheists as the one true God, in the last 
verse of chap. iv. of Genesis, where, as I understand the 
passage, it is said that e about this time, he (i.e., Seth, the 
Lord of Thib) began to be called by the name of Jehovah/ "* 

The god Ea and his son Marduk will always be of the 
greatest interest to the students of comparative religion. Ea 
was the lord and governor of all mankind, the supreme great 
god; his son Marduk was the mediator between man and 
this god. The children of men offered their prayers to him 
and he bore them to his great father who received them at 
his hands. The complaint of the penitent sinner was directed 
to Ea through his son Marduk, and he commissioned his son, 
the god of light, to bestow his pardon on him. The rebellion 
of the gods of darkness and night, against light, was 
quenched by this shining god; and to the mind of the 
Babylonian he was the saviour of all. 

After the first triad of gods came " the seven magnificent 
deities." Only six of them are mentioned in the inscription 
under consideration, but below are a list of the seven with 
ideographs, glosses, &c. 









-HF- < 
-HP *T 




V -T^ft! 





-HF- -nf: 

D.P. Sin. 
D.P. Samas. 
D.P. Rammaiiu. 
D.P. Marduk. 
D.P. Zarpaiiitum. 
D.P. Nabiuin. 
D.P. Tasmetum. 

* Jnl. RA.8., vol. xii. p. 81. 


The first god in the list is the moon. He was always 
considered prior to the Sun, and was called "the mighty 
god." * The 29th day of Elul was called " the rest day of 
the Moon, the day when the spirits of heaven and the spirits 
of earth are invoked." Istar was goddess of the half month. 
The number of tablets in the ancient astronomical library 
relating to the moon must have been immense, when we 
consider what a large number are remaining which deal wholly 
with the moon and its appearances. The Sun was called the 
"Lady, the mistress of the world." Its gender therefore 
was feminine.f The god whose name is read rammanu, was 
lord of the air, rain, clouds, and storm. Marduk was the son 
of Ea and Dam-kina " the earth " male and female. His 
Akkadian name was AMAR-UT or AMAR-UTU, "the 
brilliance of the Sun." He bore different names in different 
months.! The next name we meet is that of the god 
Zarpanituv. This is the rf& JTGP of 2 Kings xvii. 30, 
(LXX. (TUKxuO faviO], and it is said there that the Baby- 
lonian colonists who were brought from Samaria made them 
for their idols. Rashi on 2 Kings, xvii. 30, says concerning 

Succoth Benoth: rfrVHSN Dy nSlUnn mpl "the image 
of a cock with its chickens." Selden in his De diis Syris 
makes it to be Venus. He shows there how H has the two 
sounds of b and v, and how t changes into s, so that Benoth 
comes to Benos, and finally Benos to Venos, and says, " Binos 
Graeca pronuntiatione est Venus nostra." || Passages con- 
cerning the worship are quoted in the note below. The old 
Akkadian name for the moon god >->^- >-|J ""^-fl is twice 

* W.A.I., iv. 33, 9. 

t In the Bible it is masc. (Ps. civ. 19) ; and fern. (Gen. xv. 17). 

I See W.A.I., iii. 53, 2 ; and Sayce, Trans. Soc. Bib. Arch., iii. 166. 

For the history and derivation of the word 'n^lD, see Eev. W. 
H. Lowe, M.A., Critical Notes, p. 5, in his Fragment of the Talmud Babli 
Pesachim, Cambridge, 1879. 

|| Siccce est fanutu in quod se matrons conferebant atque inde procedeutes 
ad questum, dotes corporis injuria contrahebant. P. 314. Ita Benoth ipsum 
etiam nunieu denotabat, et Succoth tabernacula seu sedes. . . . Ipsissimum 
enim erat Babylonise Mylittee sive Veneris Urania; templum, ubi puellse 
corollis revinctii 1 , et sedentes singuli in spatiis quse luniculis erant 
distincta, hospites opperiebantur qui rite implorata Venere Mylitta, 
pecuniaque quantulacunque data (qua; Dese sacra) cum eis a fano subductis 
rem haberent. . . . Heic plane filiarum seu imiliercularum taberuacula, 
id est, Succoth Benoth. . . . Mulieres, ait, funiculis circumdata;, in viis 
sedent, ut furfures adoleant. Et si qua earuin cum advena quovis, qui 
vi earn sibi attraxerit, cubaret, proximam conviciabatur, quod nequaquam 
simili afficeretur honore, nee funiculus ejus disrumperetur. De Diis tiyris, 
p. 3d9-3l:3. 

used and it is curious to note that Nebuchadnezzar calls him 
"the king my ancient father." ->f- ^JJ ^^yy=^-Jf- < 
in W.A.I, iv. 2, 22.) The Euphrates is called the "river of 
Sippara," i.e. ]} Q *] ^ ^ &* 

We meet in this inscription with the oft-repeated phrase, 

~ ^T T? ESf *T ^T !? <H -^ *UT :^3f . 

^11, "with bitumen and brick" I built. The other 
Nebuchadnezzar inscriptions give ^ >~^"y J^J f:^ "fT^t 
^T*~I^!J IT ^IT Hff^T) * ;ia kwpri ^ a-guwi, "with cement 
and burnt brick/' Kupri is the same as the Syriac ];aab 
" bitumen," in Gen. iv. 14, and Bxod. ii. 3. Agurri is the 
same as the Arab ~^\, " lateres coctiles," or burnt brick.f 
The component parts of the ideograph for bitumen show it 
to have been something that was "the product of water." 
A four-column syllabary says its Akkadian name was 5^1* ^>-, 
ebu.% Herodotus says the bitumen used by Nebuchadnezzar 
for building came from the Is, a stream eight days' journey 
from Babylon. 

Throughout this inscription, an ideograph is doubled to 
express the plural, thus : 

=? ^. ^ ^ abulli, " gates." 

H< -^tfc^ TSIE- BUS -TSIR-RUS, "snake gods." 
>->f- ildni, 

* The Akkadian name of the Tigris and Euphrates is given by the 
following from St. 2325 : 

PURANUNU. ^>- :|J y- >f- 

fitrd yap rbv NfTXov Kai Tdyyrjv OVTIQ fTTKTT/juorarot <r\(dov TU>I> Kara rrjv 
'Aatav Trorttjuwv "EutypdriJG Kai Tiypig TUQ utv Trrjydg f.\ovcnv IK rSiv 'Apfifviutv 
6pwi> dttirTijicai S'dir' d\kr]\tav ffraSiovc; Siavi^iovg Kai TTtvraKOffiovQ. Diod. 
Siculus, bk. ii. sect. 11. 

t vox Pers. In Arab, linguam translata " Lateres coctiles " (Freytag, 
p. 15). 

t The whole line from St. 2325 is thus given : 

See notes by bir H. Rawlinson in his brother's Herodotus, vol. i. p. 253. 
TloAAuii' Ce Kai Tra^ado^iav ovnov Qiafidrdtv Kara Tr/f Ba/3i>Xui'tav oi)\' rJKiara 
0awjuatrai Kii TO TrX^Ooc; TYIQ iv avry ytvrwfifvris aa^aXrow roaovruv jap 
iariv wore ^ifj fiovov raff roaavraiQ Kai rr)K\iKai>TaiQ oiKodo/iiaig SiapKtli', aXXo 
Kai ffv\\fy6fjitvov rbv Xabv tTrl rb>> roirov dtyeidwc; dpt'taOai Kai Zrjpaivovra 
Ka'iiiv dvri t,v\wv. Diod. Siculus, book ii. sect. 12. 

sarrani, "kings." 
Ztf dtf aim'. "stones." 

c^ JfcJ tf Jfcjy kaklci, "weapons." 

f ^y>- ^y>- for ->f !> ty- y^- ift ra&z, " great gods." * 

ildni rabuti. 

In col. 3 line 22 we meet with an example of the redun- 
dancy so common in Syriac, thus : subursu dur Bdrzippav 
" the height of it the fortress of Borsippa," i.e. " the height 
of the fortress of Borsippa." 

And this brings us to the consideration of Babylon itself. 
Babylon is the Greek form of Babel or Bab-ili. And Ba-bel 
is the exact Semitic translation of the Akkadian JE^I $jfc 
fT.y KA DINGIRRA, or " the gate to god." It bore two 
other names, viz., ^~^ ^I^J EKI "the house," par excellence, 
and ^ ^5fif DIN-TIR " the house of the jungle," t or, 
according to others, "the place of life." But this is 
properly the designation of the town on the left bank of 
the river. Babylon is also expressed by *~^TT "Y~Y 
>-Jf- y~- D.P. Bab-ilani "the gate of the gods." J It was 
said to have been built in very early times, it became the 
capital under Khaminuragas (B.C. about 1700, who built a 
temple to Merodach there) and held this position for 1200 
years. It was conquered by Tukulti-Ninip, B.C. 1271; by 
Tiglath-Pileser I. B.C. 1110 ; by Tiglath-Pileser II. B.C. 731 ; 
by Merodach Baladan, B.C. 722 ; by Sargon, B.C. 721. It 
was sacked and burnt by Sennacherib, B.C. 692 ; restored by 
Esarhaddon, B.C. 675 ; captured by Assur-bani-pal, B.C. 648, 
(also by Nabu-pal-usur, B.C. 626?) and finally taken by 
the Medes and Persians about B.C. 539. The city was built 
on both sides of the river in the form of a square, and was 
enclosed within a double row of high walls, the inner being 
called Imgur-Bel, the outer Nimitti Bel. Ctesias makes the 
outer walls 360 stades in circumference, Herodotus and Pliny 
480, Strabo || 385, Q. Curtiusf 368, and Clitarchus ** 365. 

* This usage reminds us of the nl^? n " l S3 of Genesis xiv. 10, to express 
multitude, "NBn. "llJDn of Judges xv. 16. 

t Sayce in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, art. " Babylon," 9th edition. 

1 Trans. Soc. Bib. Arch., vii. p. 109. 

N. H. vi. 26. || xvU. 5. IT v. i. 26. 

f * airoXaftovaa $t rnv Eiipparijv Trorapbv t/e ptffor, irtpttpaXtTo rtT^oc ry 
ir6\ft aradtuiv e%i}KOvra Kni Tfiiaicoaitav, tn\rinpsi>ov irvpyntc irvict'olg xai 
/ifyaAo<c, &G <pT]oi Krijamp o Krioiof, wf St KXftrapxof Kai TUIV vartpov pir' 
'A\tavSpov StafidvTuiv tig ri]v 'Aaiav rtvff aviypa^av, Tptaicooiiov i%r)KovTa 
ic.t nkvrt oraS'tuv <co irpoortQiaatv on riav laiav fipfpuv riav OTaSiwv 
at. Diod. Siculus, book ii. sect. 7. 

The spaces between the towers were broad enough to 
allow a pair- horsed chariot to turn (Herod, i. 179).* The 
question of the actual height has been discussed by Sir H. 
Rawlinson in Herodotus, and by Dr. Oppert in the Athenceum 
Franqaifi, 1854, p. 370. The celebrated Hanging Gardens 
were on the eastern side of the river and within the palace 
precincts. They were built in the form of a square (each side 
being 400 feet long) upon a series of arches.f 

The absence of genuine history in the inscriptions of 
Nebuchadnezzar is remarkable. All the inscriptions yet 
found narrate his great care to make Babylon a success in 
the matter of buildings. There is no doubt he was a most 
pious king, and whether he considered the giving an account 
of his restoration and rebuilding of the temples of the gods 
of more importance than a narrative of his wars, is very 
hard to say. If only the history of his expedition through 
Palestine, of his siege of Tyre, and of his defeat of all the 
nations in that part of the world could be found. In the 
following inscription, the large India House inscription is 
perhaps referred to when he speaks of the account of his 
works which he wrote. 

Nebuchadnezzar III., son of Nabupolassar, reigned from 
about B.C. 605 to B.C. 562. He took command of the Babylon- 

* One cannot help thinking there must be an allusion to these mighty 
walls in the verse in Jeremiah (li. 53), " 'I hough Babylon should mount up 
to heaven, and though she should fortify the height of her strength," &c. 

(my bvra "rann *o). 

t " In uno latere civitatis erant horti suspensi, fere conjuncti fluvio 
Euphrati ; qui numerabantur inter septem miracula mundi. oitus eoruni 
erat ngurse quadrata?, quadringentorum pedum, per quemlibet angnluin 
quibus corresponderent secundus et tertius. Intus erant quatuor atria vel 
arese, quadringentorum pedum longitudinis, et centum latitudinis, ita ut una 
supra aliam emineret. Prima elevebatur a terra duodecim cubitos cum 
dimidio. f-ecunda, viginti cubitos. Tertia, triginta septem cubitos cum 
dimidio. Quarta, proxima Euphrati, quinquaginta cubitos. Illic ex- 
trahebatur aqua ab Euphrate certis quibusdam inachinis, ad irrigandos 
hortos. Tota base structura sustinebatur fornicibus latericiis, sibi 
cohserentibus lato interstitio secundum proportioneni arearum ; quorum 
quilibet habebat duodecim pedes diametri ; distabat itaque unus at altero 
fornix pedes viginti duos ; et hoc quidem tarn pro firmatione intermedia,, 
quam pro commoditate mansiuncularum quarundam, ibi exstructarum. 
buperiora harum tabernarum, primo erant instrata magnis lapidibus, 
longitudinis sedecim pedum, et quatuor latitudinis. L>einde totuni illud erat 
-coopertdm multis arundinibus. Tertio, omnes ilia? arundines erant obtectse 
magnis laminis plumbeis, quae defenderent fornices ab humiditate terrse. 
Tandem erat super omnia hsec, optima terra, exculta exquisitis floribus et 
plantis," &c. Not. in Liod. Sic., i. p. 124. 


ian army on the occasion of the war between Nabopolassar and 
Necho King of Egypt. Nebuchadnezzar routed the Egyptian 
army at Carchemish " and took all that pertained to the King 
of Egypt from the river of Egypt unto the river Euphrates " 
(2 Kings xxiv. 7). At this time Jehoiakim, King of Judah, 
submitted to Nebuchadnezzar and served him as a tributary 
for three years. About B.C. 598 Nebuchadnezzar marched 
against Palestine, deposed Jehoiachin, son of Jehoiakim and 
set up Zedekiah in his stead. Zedekiah, according to the 
custom of the Israelitish kings (even though the King of 
Babylon had made him swear by DVPN), rebelled, "stiffened 
his neck, and hardened his heart." Meanwhile Nebuchad- 
nezzar was away quelling a revolt in Media, but, about B.C. 
589, he came to Riblah, in Hamath, and sent his general 
Nebuzaradan * to besiege Jerusalem. The siege lasted about 
a year and a half, and Jerusalem was taken, B.C. 58 7. f 
The sackage and pillage of the temple is familiar to all from 
the Bible history. Zedekiah fled by night " by the way of 
the gate between two walls which is in the king's garden," 
but he was overtaken in the plains of Jericho and brought 
before the King of Babylon at Riblah, where his sons were 
slain before him, and his eyes made blind ("^). 

From B.C. 586 to B.C. 573, Nebuchadnezzar besieged 
Tyre { with very doubtful success. He had left Gedaliah in 
charge of Judah, but the new ruler was slain by Ishmael, the 
son of Nethaniah. Again came the King of Babylon to take 
vengeance, and carried off the Jews to Babylon. He now 
turned his attention to the capture of Egypt whose king, 
Pharaoh Hophra, had incited Palestine to rebellion. Nebu- 
chadnezzar defeated and deposed him, routed his army, 
over- ran Egypt, and installed a king, a tributary to Babylon. 
This was in the year B.C. 572. After this war the King of 
Babylon appears to have devoted his attention to the beau- 
tification of his city. He had thousands of captives to work 
for him, and indeed his buildings attest the enormous quantity 

* The Biblical P T OJ3? = ] Hf- HMfc ^<* fcly "^T D.R Nabu- 
zir-idinna, i.e., " Nebo gave a seed." 

t See Jeremiah, ch. xxxix. 1, 2 ; 2 Kings, ch. xxv. 

According to Mr. Grote, History of Greece, vol. ii. p. 500), the Tyrians 
submitted, and he quotes the following: "Les Tyriens furent emportes 

assaut par le roi de Babylone." Volney, Recherches sur I'Histoire 

d'assaut par le roi de Babylone." Volney, 

" ' ' ov TOV pa, 

Joseph., Antiq. J. 

Ancienne, vol. ii. ch. 14, p. 250. 'ETTI EiOiufia\ov roi) fiaoiXius iiro\i6pKT)nt 
Hal3uv\odoi>6aopo( rr)t>Tvpov iir' tri) StKarpia. Menander ap. 

ix. 14, 2. 


of human labour that must have been as his disposal. Sacred 
and profane writers alike give testimony to the glory of his 
city, his palaces, gardens, temples, and the massive golden 
image of the god Bel. Numerous indeed were the gods whose 
shrines filled Babylon, and Jeremiah sarcastically alludes 
to this (chap. 1. 38) when he says: "For it is a land of graven 
images, and they madly confide in idols."* As a general 
and as an architect he was great, and one instance of kindness 
is recorded of him. For we read : " Nebuchadnezzar, King of 
Babylon, gave charge concerning Jeremiah by the hand of 
Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, saying, Take him and 
set thine eyes upon him, and do him no harm, but do unto 
him even as he shall say unto thee" (Jerem. xxxix. 11). 

The inscription finishes with a prayer of the king to the 
god of Marad. It reads thus : 

Col. iii. 1. 15, "O God, the king AMAEDA, the lord of all warrior (gods) 

16, to the brickwork of my hands for blessing 

17, joyfully be favourable, and 

18, a life to a day remote (with) 

19, sufficiency of glory, 

20, establishment of throne and a long reign 

21, for a gift O give ! 

22, Sweep away the disobedient 

23, Shatter their weapons 

24, Devastate all the land of the enemy 

25, Sweep away the whole of them 

26, with thy powerful weapons 

27, which benefit not my enemies 

28, May they draw near, and may they sting 

29, to the subjugation of my enemies may my hands go. 

30, In the presence of Marduk, king of heaven and earth 

31, my works cause to be blessed, 

32, command my prosperity." 

Nebuchadnezzar died about B.C. 562, and was succeeded by 
his son, Evil-Merodach.f 


t Nebuchadnezzar, after he had begun to build the fore-mentioned wall, 
fell sick, and departed this life when he had reigned forty-three years, 
whereupon his son, Evil-Merodach, obtained the kingdom. Fl. Joseph. 
against Apion, i. sec. 20. 






1. Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, 

2. the exalted prince, the worshipper of the god Marduk 

3. the supreme lord, the beloved of the god Nebo, 

4. the unwearied prince of the gate, 

5. the restorer of the temple SAG-ILI and the temple ZIDA 

6. who to the god Nebo and the god Marduk his lords 

7. worship has performed before their persons 

8. the exalted one, who causes the ituti to be deep, the 

messenger of the great gods, 

9. the eldest son of Nabu-pul-usur (Nabopolassar), 

10. the king of Babylon am I. 

11. Prince Marduk the great lord then caused me to hold 


12. a sceptre (?) to rule the people [as a] shepherd, 

13. to restore the fortresses, and to renew the temples 

14. greatly he encouraged me. 

15. I put my trust in Marduk, my lord, my judge, 

lb*. his supreme fortress, the citadel his high place [the walls], 

17. Imgur-Bel, Nimitti-Bel 

18. I caused to be completed over their great fortresses 

19. upon the threshold of its great gates 

20. mighty lords (gods) 

21. and [images] of poisonous snakes 

22. I set up 

23. the which never had any king my predecessor made. 

24. The quay (of the fortress), its ditch (moat) . 

25. with bitumen and brick 

26. the father my begetter built and completed for a bulwark. 

27. As for me, the paths of the ancient quay 

28. once, twice 

29. I built up with bitumen and brick, and 

30. the quay which my father had worked I excavated. 

31. I caused its foundation to be laid with huge flat slabs, and 

32. I raised up its summit like a mountain. 

33. The quay of brick at the ford of the setting sun 

34. within Babylon I completed. 


35. The paths along the quay 

36. with bitumen and brick 

37. the father my begetter had worked at ; 

38. its buttresses (?) with brick 

39. along the river of Sippara I bound together, 

40. and I fully completed its banks. 

41. As for me his eldest son (i.e., eldest son of Nabopolassar) 

42. the beloved of his heart, 

43. the paths along the quay 

44. with bitumen and brick, 

45. in addition to the quay which my father had made, I 


46. In the temple of SAG-ILI the kissra I set. 

47. The palace of heaven and earth, the seat of tranquillity, 

48. E-KU-A the shrine of Bel, the temple of the gods and 

of Marduk, 

49. the gate of Hilisud the seat of the goddess Zirpanitum, 

50. and the temple of ZI-DA the dwelling-place of the divine 

king of heaven and earth 

51. I caused them to be covered with shining gold and 

52. I made them brilliant as the day. 

53. The temple, the foundation of heaven and earth, the 

tower of Babel 

54. I built anew 

55. The temple of ZIDA, the eternal, the (temple) beloved 

of Nebo 

56. I built anew within Borsippa, and 


1 . with gold and sculptured stones 

2. I made [it] like the brilliance of heaven. 

3. I caused ic to be covered over with durable cedar and 


4. up to the ceiling of the great temple of Life. The shrine 

of Nebo 

5. I caused to be erected before those three 

6. The great temple, the temple of the " lady of the head- 

land " within Babylon, 

7. the temple (called) "he gives the sceptre of the world," 

the temple of Nebo of Harie, 

8. the temple of Namgan, the temple of the wind within 


9. the temple of the dwelling, before the lady of heaven 

near the fortress, 


10. I rebuilt within Babylon, and 

11. I reared up their summits 

12. the which never had any king my predecessor done. 

13. Four thousand cubits square, the citadel with walls 

14. towering and inaccessible 

15. the everlasting fortress of Babylon at the ford of the 

rising sun 

16. I caused to surround. 

17. I dug out the moat, I emptied away the water that had 

gathered there, 

18. I made its bed of bitumen and brick, and I excavated 

19. the quay which my father had worked at. 

20. the lofty fortress with bitumen and brick 

21. I built up like a mountain upon its side. 

22. The height of the fortress of Borsippa thoroughly 

23. I rebuilt. 

24. The quay and the moat [lined and built] with bitumen 

and brick 

25. I made to surround the citadel for a protection. 

26. For the god Turkit, the lord, the breaker of -the weapons 

of my enemies 

27. I rebuilt his temple within Borsippa. 

28. The temple of the Sun, the temple of the sun-god of 


29. the temple the established seat, the temple of the 

god .... 

30. of the city Batz, 

31. the temple of the eyes of Anum, the temple of the god 


32. of the city of the planet Venus, 

33. the temple of heaven, the temple of Istar of Erech, 

34. the temple of the sun, the temple of the sun-god of 


35. the temple of KIS-KUR-GAL, the temple of the moon-god 


36. these temples of the great gods 

37. I rebuilt; and 

38. I caused their beautiful adornments to be completed. 

39. The restoration (or furniture) of the temples of SAGr-ILI 

and ZIDA 

40. the new places of Babylon 

41. which more than before 

42. I have made more extensive 

43. and I have established them even to their summits. 


44. An account of all my magnificent works, 

45. and of my restorations of the temples of the great gods 

46. above what the kings my fathers wrote 

47. upon a stone tablet I wrote; and 

48. I set it up for future days. 

49. The account of all my works 

50. which I have written upon the stone tablet 

51. with understanding mayst thou look upon 

52. and upon the glorious things of the gods. 

53. May [meu] understand that 

54. I built the fortresses of the gods and of the goddess Istar 

55. of the great lord and of Marduk. 


1. As for myself Marduk urged me on, 

2. he girded me up in heart, 

3. reverently, and not failing him 

4. I completed his beautiful [works], 

6. [I rebuilt] (?) for the god the king of Marad, my lord, 

6. his temple within Marad the 

7. which had been built from a remote time ; 

8. its ancient foundation stone 

9. which no former king had ever seen 

10. I took hold of, I uncovered, and 

11. upon the foundation stone, the beloved of the Moon-god, 

the king, 

12. my ancient father, I laid down its foundation. 

13. I made an inscription in my name, and 

14. I placed it within it. 

15. God the king of Marad, lord of all warriors, 

16. to the brickwork which my happy hands [have made] 

17. be favourable joyfully and 

18. my life to a far distant day 

19. with abundance of glory, 

20. fixity of throne, and length of rule 

21. to eternity do thou lengthen. 

22. Sweep away the disobedient, 

23. break in pieces their weapons, 

24. devastate the lands of the enemies, 

25. sweep them all away. 

26. Thy mighty weapons 

27. which benefit not my enemies 


28. may they draw near and may they fight 

29. for the subjugation of my enemies, may they go by my 


30. In the presence of Marduk king of heaven and earth 

31. upon my works pronounce blessing 

32. command my prosperity. 


Hf- ~Hf ~ sstf "Sf "Sf -TH P t>| cfcT 

D.P. Na - bi - uv - cu - dur - ri - u - tsu - ur 


#FT 3T - TT & 

sar Ba - bi - lav D.A. 
the king of Babylon 

2! Sf If *T4 ^T If t^ET<T <= -TT4 ^1 

m - ba - a - av na - a - dav mi - gi - ir 
the exalted prince the worshipper 

f <~*T 

D.P. Marduk 
c>y <Ae god Marduk 

is - sa - ak - ku tsi - i - ri na - ra - am 
the prince supreme, the beloved 

D.P. Na-bi- uv 
of the god Nebo 

iy<y -\a ^T ^T B -IT T? 

sa - ac - ca - na - cu la - a ne - kha 
7 am established the unresting or 

la - a pil - kha 
the iinfearintf one 


za- ni - in E SAG - ILI u E zi - DA. 

the restorer of the temple of the lofty head and the temple of Zida 

6 - "EM T? q Hf ^T ~ rfPT <H& f <~*T 

sa a - na D.P. Na - bi - uv u D.P. Marduk 
who to the god Nebo and the god Marduk 

beli - su 

his lords 

> & T AT V- T ^T H T ^ ^T -TM ^ 3! 

ci - id -nu-su-va ib - bu - su ri - e -su-6u-un 
worship also has performed before their persons 

~nf T? t^<T - 

na - a - dav mu - us - te - mi - ku i - tu - ti 
the exalted one, he who causes the ituti to be deep, 

ira *T f "ii- "if- 

sa - par ili rabi 

the messenger of the great gods 

fM ^T 

ablu a - sa - ri - du sa D.P. NABU - 
the eldest son of Nabo- 

PAL - u - tsu - ur 
palutsur -. . 

10- sSf H K <^!T ^ H n "iT 

sar Ba - bi - lav D.A. a - na - cu 
King of Babylon 

> Variant ^ 


ni -mi- uv D.P. Marduk bil ra - be - u 
The prince Merodach great lord 

ci - ni - is lu - ba - an - ni - va 
firmly may lie cause me to hold also 

12. tf m & *T Bf iH ^ eiJM HM ^T T? ^TA 

D.P. . . . su-te su- ru ni - sim ri - e -a- av 
a sceptre (?) to direct the people the shepherd, 

is. ?? _ry f -EI ?<? < ,^ ^y E<T ^y 

za- na - an ma - kha - zi ud - du - su 

(to) restore the fortress to renew 

jtf < ^n<T ^? ~s> 

e - es - ri - e - tiv 
</te temples 

u. EJPT s ^T! * 1! ^ w^ Hf- ^ 

ra - bi - is u - ma - ah ir - an - ni 

greatly he encouraged me 

is. y? ^y ^gy y? ^y ^ <^^T -II tETf 

a - na - cu a - na D.P. Marduk bil - ya 
/ upon the god Marduk my lord, 

pa- al - li u - ta - ku 

my judge trusted 

Ba - bi - lav D.A. ma-kha-za-su tsi - i - ri 
Babylon his supreme fortress, 

ta - na - da - a - tu - eu 
the citadel his high place 


Im - gu - ur Bel 


Ni - mi - it - ti 


D.P. Bel 






u - sa - ac - li 
I caused to be 


- f? << 

a - na se - ip - pi ABULLI - su 

upon the threshold oj its great gates 


bi - e - li e-ik-du-u-tiv 

^roc^s (?) mighty 

11 TSIR RUS TSIR RUS tu - ZU - U - tiv 

and powerful snakes strong (poisonous) 

u - us - zi - z 
(then) I set up; 

23. ltd SOT H -TT<T A-TT HET ^ & ^T 

sa sar ma - akh - ri - iv la i - pu - su 
which a king preceding (me) had not made 


ca - a - ri khi - ri - ti - su 
its quay its ditch (moat) 


IDDU u libittu AL 

bitumen and brick 


UR - ra 

26. fl *H <T- 4f^ 3TT T? a T? ~T4 T? # 

a - ti - si - ni - ^u a - ba - a - av a - li - tu 
its .......... (?) the father (my) begetter 

u - sa - al - am 
citadel completed (or raised). 

27 . ^ ^< ^y y ? .yy<y E y<y ^ y ? 

ya - ti ca -a- ri dara -a- ti bu-su- si -su 
As for ' me the quay lasting its paths 

is - ti - en - ni - ti sa - ni - i 

once, twice 

29 . K: 

i - na IDDU u libittu 

with bitumen and brick 

UR - ra ab - ni - va 
/ built and 

so. ET4T ^K 2T^T T? -TM T? H ^TA li^ TT <H 

it - ti ca - a - ri a - ba - av ik - zu - m 
with the quay (my) father had made (bound) 

e - es - ni - ik - va 
excavated and 


i - si - s"u i - na bu- ra - at ci -GAL 
its foundation with the ..... of inscription stones 

ffif ITfl <M1<T <T- ET-4T "IT 

u - sa - ar - si - id - va 
/ caused to be laid down and 

ri - si - su sa - da - ni - is 

its head like a mountain 

u - za - ak - ki - ir 
/ raised up 

2M Tf -TT<T A-TT 

ka - a - ri - iv libittu AL UR alu 

the quay of brick ....... (at) the city 

T*-H<T -+ *1 I T? 

pal - ri D.P. Sam - su 

the ford of the setting sun 

34. ct ^y tf 

i - na Ba - bi - lav u - sa - al - av 
within Babylon I raised. 

35. sw n -TT<T T? E^I -i> 

ka - a - ri a - ra - akh - tiv 

the quay, the paths 

36 . s ^y y 

i - na IDDU u libittu 

bitumen and brick 

AL UR - ra 


37. if H <=T4 n &w 811 144 am ^-n IT 

a - ba - av a - li - tu ik - zu - ur - va 
the father (my) begetter worked at and 

ba - ca - a - tsi libittu AL - UR - ra 

with brick 

T? T <MM ^H n -a ^T ^? -TTTT ^ ' 

a - ba - ar - ti nahar puranunu D.A. 

along the river of Sippara 

u - ra - ak - ki - is - va 
/ bound together 

IT -Bf ffl= "iT^T -Tt* 

ma - la u - sa - ak - li 
/ completed 

T? > 

- it - ta - a - tiv 

41. ^T? ^ TJ s E^TT Bf -TW ^} < ^T T? eJ 

ya - ti a - bi - il - BU ri - e - es - ta - a - av 
^1* /or r/ie Aw e^esi sow 

42. ^ 

na - ra - am li - ib - bi - su 
the beloved (one) of his heart 

2M T? -IH T? E^T * *> 

ka-a- ri a-ra- akh - tiv 

i.e. (the road along the quay) 

In a four-column bilingual list the pronunciation of this word is said to be 
pu-ra-nu-nu. W.A.I., V, 22, 81. 


44. K ^ 

i - na IDDU u libittu UR - ra 

with bitumen and brick 

45. ET4T ^K 3W !? ~TH T? ET T? 

it - ti ka - a - ri a - ba - a - av 

with the quay (which my) father 

ETT ^fcT! ill P 1KT f 4?^ S> 

ik - zu - ur - ru u - sa - an - ni - in 
had made I renewed. 

i - na E SAG - ILI ki -its - tsi - ra 
In the " temple of the lofty head " ^e 

as - ba - av 
collection I set. 

E - GAL sa - mi - e u ir - zi - tiv 

The palace of heaven and earth 

su - ba - at ta - si - la - a - tiv 

the seat of prosperity 

tfl IEJ |? & & YJ< -era 

E cu - A pa - pa - kha Bel 

The temple of E CU-A the shrine of Bel, 

bit ilani D.P. Marduk 

th* temple of the gods (and) Marduk 

1 Var. -TT55. 


& 31 NET 

bab khi - li sud su - ba - at 

The gate of Khilisud the seat 

-Hf- <HT * 4^ *J 

D.P. Zir - pa - ni - tuv 

o/ /ig goddess Zirpanituv 

50. J^T Hfjs -EM Sf 3T NET ~f e^ 

E zi - DA su - ba - at D.P. sar 

The temple of Zida, the dwelling place of the divine king 


dim - me - ir AN - Cl - A 

heaven and earth 

si. M -TTA^T^Ain P 1W S I<J - 2TT IT 

D.P. khuratsi na - am - ru u - sa - al - bi - is - va 
with shining gold I caused (them) to be covered and 


u - na - am - mi - ir ki - ma um - uv 
/ made them bright like the day 

53. ^y *y -y ^ -n IE! E^T JET 

E temen sami irtsiti zi - ku - ra - at 

The temple of the foundation of heaven and earth the tower 

Ba - bi - lav D.A. 
of Babylon 


- es - s - s e - pu - us 

/ built 

Var. . 


55. c^y -fls y<y ssT ^ ~ <XJ 

E zi - DA E ki - i - nuv na - ra - am 
The temple of Zida, the established, the beloved 

D.P. Na - bi - uv 
(temple) of Nebo 

i - na Ba - ar zi - pav D.A. 

within Borsippa, 

e - es - se - is ab - ni - va 


i - na D.P. khuratsi u ni - se - ik - tiv 

with gold and sculptured 



2. ? >ET <y 

ki - ma si - be ir - ti sa - ma - iri 

like the splendour of heaven 

u - ba - an - niv 
7 built (it) 

1 This nanje is written ^t^J ^f ^T *">^f, 15 ur ^li-ab-ba (Trans. Sco. 
Sib. Arch., Vol. VII. p. 106.) 

Var. ^. 3 yap. . 


3. stf ~yy<y O<J EM fcc <> <?? 

e - ri - nuv dara - tiv D.P. klmratsi 

(with) cedar lasting and gold 

u sa - al - bi - is - va 
/ caused to cover and 

Tf ^T tXi <tT* Sitf SI -I< HIT 

a - na tsu - lu - ul E MAKH TI - LA 

far the of the great tevple of Life, 

pa - pa-kha D.P. Nabu 
the shrine of Nebo 

* <Xf 8 r H[< ^T V- ffi W NET -TT<T =T 

pa - nuv se-lal- ti - su - nu u - sa - at - ri - its 
before those three I caused to be erected 

e. s n ^y 

E MAKH E D.P. NIN - KI - SAK E lib - ba 
temple, the temple of the lady of the headland, 

the temple within Babylon 

7. tt c y v ^ t?? ^y <^ f ^y 

E D.P. khaddhi - kala - ma - idinna - va 

The temple "he gives the sceptre of the world" 

f ^T K fiFT Iffi ??< -TH ^? 

E D.P. Na - bi - uv sa Kha - ri - e 
the temple of Nebo of Kharie 

1 Var. ^ Z2 


E NAM - GAN E Rammanu lib - ba 

The temple of Namgan, the temple of wind within 

IS IT HfM & 

Ku - ma - ri D.A. 

9 - 3d & HT sT= f 5*T Hf tMT swT 

E KI - KU pa - an E D.P. BELT: 
The temple of the dwelling, before the temple of the lady, 

-Hf- ^ 

an - na sa tu -up-ga- at duri 
o/ heaven of the regions of the fortress 

lo. tt ^y ty EJ ^yy ^ ^ < <y~' 

i - na Ba - bi - lav D.A. e - es - si 
within Babylon afresh 

sty ^- IT 

ab - ni - va 
7 6m'& and 

'P <^T* -IT Tf ^T4 -TT<T SP 

u-ul-la-a- av ri - e - sa - si - in 

/ raised up their summits (heads) 

1KI 1l~n Tf IT FO IT ^ -Tf<( -Bf^ T 

sa ma - na - a - ma sar ma-akhi- ri la i - pu - su 
which (temples) never a preceding King had made 



IV x 1,000 ammati ka - ka - ra - av 

Four thousand cubits square 

i - ta - a - at 

2/ig walls of the citadel 

u. ^ <? 3T -IT EH A 

ni - se - is la da - khi - 

loftily inaccessible 

is. jcy 

duru daru pal - ri D.P. Samas atsu 

The fortress eternal of the ford of the rising sun of 

Ba - bi - lav - D.A. 

u - sa - as - khi - ir 
I caused to surround 

17. A-TTOT & -TM 

khi - ri - s"u akh - ri - e - va su - pu - ul mi - 
its ditch I duff out and the depth of waters 

ak - su - ud 
/ took (emptied) 

bi - ir - su i - na 
ite foe? mYA 

T ^T W 


u libittu AL - UR - ra ab - ni -va 
/ built and 

-TT<T Tl T T? -TA U^ 2TT iH 

it - ti ka - a - ri a - ba - a av ik - zu - ru 
with the quay (my) father had made, 


^ -ET 

e - se - ni - ik - va 
/ cut it out and 

"EM ^c . ^1 T? 

duru dam i - na 

the lofty fortress with 

u libittu AL - UR 
and brick 



- ra 


i - na ki - sa - di - 
upon its side 

sa - da - ni - is 
like a mountain 

ab - niv 
/ built 

' Var. ~, 

Var. <V 

3 Var. 


22. T<T ff ~ ^TT S~ ==TT ^T =M 

dha - a bi su - bu - ur - su dur 

well the height of (lit. its height of) the fortress of 

H <MM -Wl <T-<H & 

Ba- ar - zi - pav D.A. 

23. yrf < a> ;7|r -pf j j^gy 

e - es - se - is e - pu - us 

afresh I built (made) 

**> 2Tty T? -TT<T A -TT<T >4< ^T S -^T 

ka - a - ri khi - ri - ti - su i - na 

the quay, its ditch with 

Tf IBS T? K<f T? <T-m ^t cm S^I! E^I 

iddu u libittu AL UR - ra 

bitumen and brick 

25. .^i & y} ^y ^ ty<T <xj >p iRf^ ^ ^y 

a - na ki - da - nuv u - sa - as - khi - ir 
a citadel for a protection I caused to surround 

26- T? ~n Hf ttl -II 

a - na D.P. TUR-CIT bilu mu - sa - ab - bi - ir 
For the god Tur-cit, the lord, the breaker of the 

D.P. KAKKI sa na - ki - ri - ya 
weapons of my enemies 

' Var. -. 


27. J^T ^rr ^ ~n H <MH 

bit - s"u i - na Ba - ar - zi - pav D.A. 
/w's temple within Borsippa 

e - es - si - is e - pu - us 
afresh I built. 

28. c^y *y Bpy ST Hf- *T *T iSfcf HfTT 

Bit - PAR - RA Bit D.P. Samas SIPAR 

The temple of the Sun, the temple of the Sun-god of Sippara. 

29- j^y -n$ ^T sr -i &> y n 

Bit-subat-kinu E D.P. sar gis-a- tu gab-gam 

The temple the established seat, the temple of the god ..... 

30. f 

sa D.P. Ba atz D.A. 

o/" ^Ae ci<?/ of Bats 

f If 

E i - dhe D.P. A - nuv E D.P. BAR 

The temple of the eyes of the god A nu, the temple of the god Dar 

sa Dil - bat D.A 
of the city of the planet Venus. 

33. ^y ~y ^y j^y ~y ^yy ^ -gy^ 

E AN - NA E D.P. Is - tar sa URU D.A. 
The, temple of heaven the temple of Istar of Erech 

34. ^y ^y E ^y ^y ^ ^ 

Bit -par- ra E D.P. Samas sa LARSA D.A. 
The temple of the sun, the temple of the Sun-god of Larsa 

1 Var. . 3 Th p modern Dailem. 


35. ^y ^ A- ' l^ ssT tffl H 1RI S^ 

E CIS - CUR - GAL E EN - ZU sa URU D.A. 

The temple of ......... the temple of the moon-god of Ur 

36. ^ < -TT<T ^? ^y< 2 f ^ ^T- 

e - es - ri - e - ti ilani rabuti 

temples of the great gods 

e - es - se - is e - pu - us - va 

afresh J built and 

u - sa - ac - li - il si - bi - ir - si - in 
7 caused to be completed their beautiful (adornments] 

ITS s> ^T T? ^T S?T spltT 

zi - in - na - a - at E SAG-ILI 

furniture of the temple of the lofty head, (and) 

E ZI - DA 

<A temple of Zida 

- ^T ^ 2TT 

te - di - is - ti Ba - bi - lav. D.A. 
the new places of Babylon 

T <MM -m <HE & 

Ba - ar zi - pav. D.A. 

(and) Borsippa 

a e - li sa ma - akh - ri - iv 
which more than before 

i Var. *-. 3 Var. >- . 3 Tar. -. 


HK ^~ "ET 

u - sa - ti - ku - va 
/ have caused to exceed and 

- & <XT T? ^T -TM cp'r <' SP? * 

as ku - nuv a - na ri - e - es - e - tiv 
established them even to their summits 

44. ~ s: 

ka - la e - ip - se - e - ti - ya 

(an account) of all my costly 

su - ku - ra - a - tiv 

works (and) 

45. jj ^y .+ 5:} < ^ S3 H[< 2 H ^ ^ 

za- na - an e - es - ri - e - ti ilani rabuti 

the restoration of the temples of the great gods 

"Era M ^m t^ e^> -T - ^=? n 

sa e - li sarrani ab - bi - e - a 

as to which above what the kings my fathers 

u - sa - ti - ru 

^ ^T ^T ^1 >^ T? - ^T ^-TT IT 

i - na D.P. Na - RA - a as - tu - ur - va 
upon a stone tablet I wrote and 

u - ki - in akh - ra - ta - as 
^ / set up for future (days) 

1 Var. ^ instead of j^ <. 


T=T -Ef & Hf 8 51 -< tn 

ka - la e - ip - se - e - ti - ya 
account) of a# ra 

so. iffl E ^y ^T ~q ^ fl - SET 1 S! 

sa i - na D.P. na - RA - a as - tu - ru 
upon the stone tablet I have written 

mu - da - a - av li - ta - am - ma- ar - va 

(with) understanding mayest thou look upon and 


ta - ni - it - ti ilani 

the glory of the gods 

li - ikh - ta as - sa - aa 
may he understand 

r IT ??< -TO f HI- <r- 

e - bi - su ma - kha - zi ilani u 

7 5m7< ^e fortress of the gods and 

-4- ^TT - 

D.P. Is -tar 
the goddess Istar 

sa bilu ra - be u D.P. Marduk 

of the great lord and Marduk 

1 Var. T. var. 



T E^T Hf ^- IT 

ya - ti u - ma - ra - an - ni - va 
As for me he urged me and 

a ^ 

- sa - at - ka - an - ni li - ib - ba - av 

he caused to gather me in heart 

3. -Kf A HJT *HT If H OT 

pa - al - khi - is la - a ba -adh -dhi - il - su 
reverently, not failing him, 

* p IT^r -KI HIT -T4 <T- - -S=T ^T 

u - sa - al - la - av si - bi - ir - su 
/ completed his beautiful (works) 

Thus far the account on both cylinders is the same, 
although the spelling of a word here and there is different. 
But now the accounts differ entirely, and we give the text 
from the cylinder that contains the third column in the best 
state of preservation. 

ni - nu mi - su a - na D.P. SAR AMAR- DA bil - ya 
for the god the king of Marad my lord 

bit - s"u sa ki - ri - ib AMAR - DA - DA 
his temple which is within Marad, 

7 - 

sa is - tu yu - um ri - e - ku - u 
which from a time (day) remote 


T T- -II T -HT sfccT -TH A-TT 

te-me-en- su la - be ri - iv 

its ancient foundation-stone (which) 

HT ^ .* $ n "El -TM A-TT 

la i - mu - ru ear ma - akh - ri - iv 
a former king had not seen 

T T- -II T & K^cT HfM 4- 

te - me - en - su la - be - ri - iv 

its ancient foundation-stone, 


a - khi - id ap - ri - e - va 
/ took hold of, T uncovered and 

11. ctf &W ^T T- -II 

e - li te - me - en sa na - ra - am 

afove the foundation-stone which (is) the delight of the 

EN - zu sar 
Moon-god, the king 

T? ST T? ^TA - 

a - ba - a - av la - be - ri u - ki - in 

my ancient father, T laid down 

us - su - su 
its foundation 

13. <y r =^^T >*3 & <ct T? =T H- IT 

si - dhe - er su - mi - ya ab - ni - va 
the writing of my name I made and 


14. <s$ !3> & >ttf % 

u - ki - in ki - ir - bu - us - su 
I placed ivithin it. 


D.P. sar AMAR - DA bil ku - ul - la - at 
God the king of Marad, the lord of all 

& <MM t 

ka - ar dav 

the warrior (gods) 

16. $fcffl 

li - bi - it ka - ti - ya a - na da - mi - ik - tiv 
to the brickwork of my lucky hands. 

" ??< f 2!T ^T =y m eT IT 

kha - di - is na - ap - li - is" - va 
joyfully, be favourable and 

is. jgy jgf ^ 

ba - la - adh yu - uv ri - e - kn - u - tiv 
a life to a day remote 

19. ^ 5 

se - bi - e li - it - tu - u - tiv 

sufficiency of glory 

20. g e fl C | ^ ?? <y^ -& f <T~- 

ku - uu D.P. kus"6u u la - ba - ar 

establishment of throne and a 

pa - li - e 
of reign 


y? ^T <T~ -TH 1^ *$> Ef Efl 4- 

a - na si - ri - ik - tiv su - ur - kav 
to eternity lengthen 


si - gi - is la ma - gi - ri 
away the disobedient 

su - ub - bi - ir kakki - su - un 

shatter their weapons 


khu - ul - li - ik na - ap -kha- ar 

devastate all 


ma - da ai - bi 
<A enemy s land 

EH ^ *=?? <t=T* -Sf ^T ^TT cH 

6u - pu - un ku - ul - la - at - su - un 
;/> away <Ae t<7/io/e o/ them 

20. 2M ^j^ ^ 2W ^? t T E 

ka - ak - ki - ca e-iz-zu-u- tiv 
<Ay mighty weapons 

- m --ET jH ^ 

sa la i - ga - am - mi - lu na - ki - ri 
which benejit not my enemies 


lu - u - ti - bu u lu - u - za - ak - tu 

may they draw near and may they sting 


29 . fl ^y ^y y ? ^<| 

a - na na - a - ri ai ~ bi - ya 

to the subjugation of my enemies 

ifcTfl EH TH? 

li - il - li - ku i - da - ai 

they go by my sides 

so. RE ~nf IT ?<?< <T-TT<T -T <^^ 

i - na ma - kha - ar D.P. Marduk sar 
In the presence of the god Marduk king 

sa - mi - e u ir - zi - tiv 

o/ heaven and earth 

HK ^T? ^T 

- ip - se - ti - ya su - um gi - ir 
my works make blessed 

32. ; 

ki - bi tu - um - ku - u - a 
command my prosperity 



2. rubdv, subs. sing. masc. Comp. Heb. 3"1, Syr. Q 7 j 
nddav, adj. sing. Comp. Heb. Tin 

migir, subs. sing. masc. cons. Comp. Heb. "YiH and "O^ 
to fear. 

3. issdkku, subs. sing. masc. 

nardm, Niphal deriv. with softened guttural. Comp. 
Heb. Dm 

4. Sdccanacu, 1st sing. Permansive acu is a shortened form 

from anacu ("Heb. "O^)- 1 A whole string of verbs of 
similar formation occurs in W.A.I. I., 17, 32, thus: 

6ar-ra-cu I am king 

bi-la-cu I am lord 

na - a h-da-cu I am noble 

makh-khu I am great 

cab-ta-cu I am honourable 

sur-ra-kha-cu lam mighty (Heb. )T)D) 

a-sa-ri-da-cu I am eldest (the chiefest) 

ur-sa-na-cu I am prince. 

kar-ra-da-cu I am warriorlike 

dan-na-cu I am strong 

zi-ca-ra-cu I am renowned 

Dr. Delitzsch, however, would prefer to read sdccanacu as 
o& kanaci, "prince of the gate," and refers to W.A.I. 
IV, 16, 58, where the Akkadian 5^ ^Iy is equated 
with the Assyrian fcf ^tl ^^J KI@f D - P - co-na-ct. 
But on both cones the last sign is cu not ci. 

1 See Sayce, Assyrian Lectures, p. 93. (Bagster & Co.) 


8. mustemiku, Itaplial partic. Comp. Heb. 
sapar, subs. sing. masc. cons. Arab. ;. 

9. 5S<T = ^f JgJ aWti. W.A.I. III, 70, 122. 

asaridu. Comp. Chald. Nn'nti, and Syr. ]Z<UO^, 
" principium." 

11. Marduk. Occurs in Heb. under the forms "JflfcOD and 

TI&TZ Syriac ^Jo-ib- 
cinis, adverb from cmw. Comp. Heb. pl3. 

lu-banni, 1st sing. Imperative Pael. Literally "build 
me." Comp. Heb. <"f^. 

12. susubni, 1st sing. Imperative Shaphel. Comp. Heb. HtE\ 
r<7av, subs. sing. masc. Heb. rttfl. 

13. zanan, subs. sing. cons. Comp. Heb. pj. 

esrietiv, subs. plu. fern, with mimmation. Comp. Heb. 

rrm* chaid. Nn^cp^ an d Accad. jryyyy ^ ^yy 


14. pdlli, subs. sing. masc. with pron. suffix. Comp. Heb. h 73 . 

18. DUR. Comp. Syr. f&. 

usaclil, 1st sing. masc. aor. Shaph. Comp. Heb. Vy^- 
Comp. Chald. W?5#, Syr." \\^L. 

19. seippi, subs. sing. masc. Comp. Heb. f]D, Syr. ^rri 

" atrium." 
abulli, subs. plu. masc. Chald. NTQSL 

S ^ C 

20. eikdutiv, adj. fern, with mimmation. Comp. Arab. j^ 

" potentia." 

21. sezuzutim. Comp. Heb. fly. 

24. khiriti, subs. sing. fern. Heb. "Yin 


25. yf g^<?y = g^y gyy ^-da. W.A.I. iv, 6, 46. 

This occurs in many inscriptions of Nebuchadnezzar. 

See W.A.I. I, 65, 51. Col. 2, 8. W.A.I. I, 52, 17. 

On a brick lost in the Tigris, but printed by Dr. 

Oppert in his " Exp. Mesop.," p. 257, ]^f fy was 

omitted. (Norris' Diet., p. 60.) 
libittu. Comp. Heb. n^h. 

26. abdv, subs. sing. masc. with mimmation. Heb. ^N. 
alitu, pres. participle, or " nomen agentis." Heb. T?^ . 

Comp. Syr. ]%nV. " genitor." 

usdlav, sing. aor. Shaph. Heb. T^. 

27. bususi, subs. plu. masc. Heb. Dttfo, " to tread." 

28. istenniti. From Akkadian > as " one " and ^j^fff *"*^f~ 

TA-AN, " a measure." Heb. *F$V. 
sanl. Comp. Heb. HJIZJ, " to do the second time." 
31. istiu, for isid-$u. Comp. Heb. TlD\ 

Jp[ ^y*^ CI-GAL, i.e.. Hades. The Queen of Hades was 
called Gula (*->f- > *~^)-> an( ^ sne was ^ e ^ ^ e 
God Ea. Another name, Nin-ci-gal, i.e., "Lady of 
the great Country," was also borne by her in her 
especial capacity as " Lady of the House of Death." 

33. ->~y^ ~yy<y = tyj -^^JE > 

" the crossing of a river." 
35. arakhtiv, subs. plu. fern. Heb. 

39. abarti. Comp. Heb. "Oy. 
uracctiva, 1st sing. aor. Pael. Heb. 

40. seittativ, subs. plu. fern. Comp. Chald. 

41. yati. Comp. Heb. Vti*- 

47. trstoiv, for irtsitiv. Heb. Y^. 
51. khuratsi, subs. sing. masc. Heb. 


1. sipirti, subs. fern. sing. gen. case. Heb. 
3. samami, reduplicated form like mami, " waters." 
13. kakardv. Dr. Oppert lias pointed out that ammat gagari 

signified the square cubit (360 yards). 
17. supul, subs. sing. masc. Heb. 7DUJ. 
24. can, subs. sing. masc. Heb. fj?. Chald. NS^ 
40. tedisti, subs. plu. fern. Comp. Heb. ttTTIl " to be new." 
sukurdtiv. Shaphel derivative. Comp. Heb. *lj?\ 

Chald. 1,?tf, IT. 

46. usatiru, for usadhiru, 1st sing. perf. Heb. 
51. muddv. Comp. Heb. H!y"Tl^. Isai. xii, 5. 


20. sarkav, sigis, silbbir, khullik, supiin, sumgir, andMbi, are an 
interesting collection of imperatives. 

28. lu, the sign of the precative, and is to be compared with 
the Hebrew ^ and fc^, that ! would that I let it 
be ! etc. But for a discussion on this point, and a 
contradiction of the opinions of Prof. Sayce and Dr. 
Oppert, see Lowe's Fragment of Talmud Babli Pesachim. 
Critical Notes, pp. 13. Cambridge, 1879. 












FINAL CAUSE. By Professor R. L. DABNEY, D.D., LL.D. 
(Texas University). 

OF the four " causes/' or necessary conditions of every new 
effect, taught by Aristotelians, the last was the " Final 
Cause/' TO reXoe, or TO ou evt ica ; " that for the sake of which " 
this effect was produced. This result, for the sake of which 
the effect has been produced, is termed " final," because it is 
of the nature of a designed end ; and " cause/' in that it has 
obviously influenced the form or shape given to the result, 
and the selection of materials and physical causes employed. 
Final cause thus always involves a judgment adapting means 
to an end, and implies the agency of some rational Agent. 

2. The question: Do any of the structures of Nature evince 
final cause ? is the same with the question : Is the " teleo- 
logical argument " valid to prove the being of a personal and 
rational Creator ? The essence of that argument is to infer 
that, wherever Nature presents us with structures, and 
especially organs adapted to natural ends, there has been 
contrivance, and also choice of the physical means so adapted. 
But contrivance and choice are functions of thought and will, 
such as are performed only by some rational person And so, 

A 2 


as material Nature is not intelligent or free, such adapted 
structures as man did not produce must be the work of a 
supernatural Person. This reasoning has satisfied every sound 
mind, Pagan and Christian, from Job to Newton. Yet it is 
now boldly assailed by evolutionists. 

3. Some attempt to borrow an objection which Descartes 
very inconsistently for him, suggested : That " he deems he 
cannot, without temerity, attempt to investigate God's ends }> 
(Meditations, iv. 20). "We ought not to arrogate to our- 
selves so much as to suppose that we can be sharers of God's 
counsels" (Prin. Phil. i. 28). The argument is, that if there 
is an intelligent First Cause, He must be of infinite intelli- 
gence ; whence it is presumptuous in a finite mind to say that, 
in given effects, He was prompted by such or such designs. 
We are out of our depth. But the reply is: That this 
objection misstates the point of our doctrine. We do not 
presume to say, in advance of the practical disclosure of 
God's purposes in a given work, what they are, or ought to 
be ; or that we know all of them exactly ; but only : That He 
is prompted in His constructions by some rational purpose. 
And this is not presumptuous, but profoundly reverential ; 
for it is but concluding that God is too wise to have motiveless 
volitions ! Again, when we see certain structures obviously 
adapted to certain functions, and regularly performing them, 
it is not an arrogant, but a supremely reverential inference, 
that those functions were among God's purposed ends in 
producing those structures. For this is but concluding that 
the thing we see Him do is a thing He meant to do ! 

4. Next, we hear many quoting Lord Bacon against the study 
of final causes. They would fain represent him as teaching 
that the assertion of final causes is incompatible with, and 
exclusive of, the establishment of efficient, physical causes. 
But, as these latter are the real, proximate producers of all 
phenomena, it is by the study of them men gain all their 
mastery over Nature, and make all true advances in science. 
Whence, they argue, all study or assertion of final causes 
is inimical to true science. "Thus, they quote Bacon, as, 
for instance, in the Nov. Organum (lib. i. Apothegm 48) : "Yet, 
the human intellect, not knowing where to pause, still seeks 
for causes more known. Then, tending after the remoter, it 
recoils from the nearer; to wit, to final causes, which are 
plainly rather from the nature of man, than of the Universe ; 
and from this source they have corrupted philosophy in 
wondrous ways." 

5. Now, Lord Bacon's own words prove that he does not 
condemn, but highly esteems the inquiry after final causes in 


its proper place, the higher philosophy and natural theology. 
He is himself a pronounced Theist, and infers his confident 
belief in God from the teleological argument. The whole 
extent of his caution is, that when the matter in hand is 
physical, and the problem is to discover the true, invariable, 
physical efficient of a class of phenomena, we confuse ourselves 
by mixing the question of final cause. Thus, in the Advance- 
ment of Learning, he himself divides true Science into 
physical and metaphysical ; the former teaching the physical 
efficients of effects ; the latter, under two divisions, teaching : 
1. The Doctrine of Forms. 2. The Doctrine of Final Causes. 
And this third, culminating in theology, he deems the 
splendid apex of the pyramid of human knowledge. 

6. In the second book of his work on the Advancement 
of Learning, he says : " The second part of Metaphysics 
is the inquiry into final causes ; which I am moved to 
report not as omitted, but as misplaced." (He then 
gives instances of propositions about final causes improperly 
thrust into physical inquiries.) "Not because those final 
causes are not true, and worthy to be inquired, being kept 
within their own province ; but because these excursions into 
the limits of physical causes have bred a vastness and solitude 
in that track. For, otherwise, keeping their precincts and 
borders, men are extremely deceived if they think there is an 
enmity or repugnancy between them." 

7. In fact, the two imply each other. If there is a God 
pursuing His purposed ends, or final causes, He will, of 
course, pursue these through the efficient, physical causes. 
It is the very adaptation of these to be right means for 
bringing God's ends, under the conditions established by His 
providence, which discloses final causes. It is the physical 
cause, gravity, which adapts the clock-weight to move the 
wheels and hands of the clock. Shall we, therefore, say it is 
contradictory to ascribe to the clock, as its final cause, the 
function of indicating time ? Does the fact that the physical 
cause, gravity, produces the motions weaken the inference 
we draw from the complicated adjustments, that this machine 
had an intelligent clockmaker ? No ; the strength of that 
inference is in this very fact, that here, the blind force of 
gravity is caused to realise an end so unlike its usual physical 
effects in the fall of hail-stones and rain-drops, of leaves and 
decayed branches. 

8. The evolutionist says, then, that since the physical cause 
is efficient of the effect, this is enough to account for all actual 
results, without assigning any " final cause." The lens, for 
instance, has physical power to refract light. If we find a 

natural lens in a human eye, we have a sufficient cause to 
account for the formation of the spectrum, the function from 
which theists infer their final cause ; and the logical mind has 
no need to resort to a theory of ' ( contrivance " and " final 
cause " for this organ. Function is not the determining 
cause, but only the physical result of the existence of the 
organ. Birds did not get wings in order to fly ; but they 
simply fly because they have wings. As to the complex 
structures called organs, the evolutionist thinks his theory 
accounts for their existence, without any rational agent pur- 
suing purposed ends. That just this configuration of a 
universe, with all 'its complicated structures, is physically 
possible (i.e. possible as the result of physical causes), is 
sufficiently proved by the fact, that it exists as it is. For 
theists themselves admit that it is the physical causes which 
contain the efficient causation of it. These are, as interpreted 
by evolutionists, slight differentiations from the parent types, 
in natural reproductions (variations which may be either 
slightly hurtful to the progeny, slightly beneficial, or neutral) : 
the plastic action of environment in developing rudimental 
organs, and the survival of the fittest. Allow, now, a time 
sufficiently vast for these causes to have exhibited, countless 
numbers of times, all possible variations and developments j 
under the rule of the survival of the fittest; the actual configura- 
tions we see may have become permanent, while all the agencies 
bringing them to pass acted unintelligently and fortuitously. 

9. Such, as members of this Institute well know, is the latest 
position of anti-theistic science, so called. The whole plausi- 
bility is involved in a confusion of the notions of fortuity and 
causation. This we now proceed very simply to unravel. The 
universal, necessary, and intuitive judgment, that every effect 
must have an adequate cause, ensures every man's thinking 
that each event in a series of phenomena must have such a 
cause preceding it, however we may fail in detecting it. In 
this sense, we cannot believe that any event is fortuitous. 
But the concurrence or coincidence of two such events, each 
in its place in its own series caused, may be thought by us 
as uncaused, the one event by the other or its series, and 
thus the concurrence, not either event, may be thought as 
truly fortuitous. Thus, the coincidence of a comet's nearest 
approach to our planet, with a disastrous conflagration in a 
capital city, may be believed by us to be, so far as the concur- 
rence in time is concerned, entirely by chance. We no longer 
believe that comets have any power to " shake war, pestilence 
or fire from their horrent hair/' on our earth. Yet we have 
no doubt that a physical cause propels that comet in its orbit 

every time it approaches the earth; or that some adequate 
local cause wrought that conflagration in the metropolis. But 
now, suppose this coincidence of the comet's perigee and the 
conflagration should recur a number of times ? The reason 
would then see, in the frequency and regularity of that recur- 
rence, a new phenomenon, additional to the individual ones of 
comet and fire; a new effect as much requiring its own adequate 
cause, as each of these demands its physical cause. This 
regular recurrence of the coincidence is now an additional fact. 
It cannot be accounted for by fortuity. Its regularity forbids 
that supposition. The physical cause of each event, comet's 
approach and conflagration, is adequate, each to the production 
of its own effect. But the new effect to be accounted for is 
the concurrence. This is regular ; but we know that the sure 
attribute of the results of blind chance or fortuity is uncertainty, 
irregularity, confusion. The very first recurrence of such a 
coincidence begets a faint, probable expectation of a new, 
connecting cause. All logicians agree that this probability 
mounts up, as the instances of regular concurrence are multi- 
plied, in a geometric ratio ; and when the instances become 
numerous, the expectation of an additional coordinating cause 
becomes the highest practical certainty. It becomes rationally 
impossible to believe that these frequent and regular concur- 
rences of the effects came from the blind, fortuitous coincidence 
of the physical causes, acting, each, separately from the other. 

10. The real case, then, is this. Each physical cause, as such, 
is only efficient of the immediate, blind result next to it. 
Grant it the conditions, and it can do this one thing always, 
and always as blindly as the first time. Gravity will cause the 
mass thrown into the air to fall back to the earth, to fall any- 
where, or on anything, gravity neither knowing nor caring 
where. But here are several batteries of cannon set in array 
to break down an enemy's wall. What we observe as fact is, 
that the guns throw solid shot convergently at every discharge, 
upon a single fixed spot in the opposing curtain, with the 
evident design to concentrate their force and break down one 
chasm in that wall. Now, it is a mere mockery to say that, 
given the cannon and the balls, the explosive force of gun- 
powder, and gravity, the fall of these shots is accounted for. 
These physical causes would account for their random fall, 
anywhere, uselessly, or as probably upon the heads of the 
gunners' friends. The thing to be accounted for is their regular 
convejgence. This is an additional fact : the blind physical 
causes do not and cannot account for it, it discloses design. 

11. The human eye, for instance, is composed of atoms of 
oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, with a few others of 

phosphorus and lime. Chemical affinity may arrange an 
ounce or two of these atoms into a compound, which may be, 
so far as any determination of that blind cause goes, of any 
shape or amorphous, fluid or solid, useful, useless or hurtful 
to sensitive beings. But here are countless millions of reptiles, 
birds, quadrupeds and men, creatures designed to live in the 
light and air, of whom the men number twelve hundred 
millions at least, in each individual of whom there is a pair of 
eyes except in the imperfect births. Numerous and exceedingly 
delicate adjustments were necessary in each separate eye, to 
effectuate the end of an eye vision. The pupil must open on 
the exterior front, and not somewhere within the socket ; the 
interior of the ball must be a camera obscura. There must be 
refracting, transparent bodies, to bend the rays of light ; 
achromatic refraction must be produced ; focal distances must 
be adjusted aright ; there must be a sensitive sheet of nerve 
to receive the spectrum ; the sensation of this image must be 
conveyed by the optic chords to the sensorium; the animal's 
perceptive faculty must be coordinated as a cognitive power 
to this sensorial feeling ; the brow and lids must be contrived 
to protect the wondrous organ. Here, already, is a number 
of coincidences, and the failure of one would prevent the end 
vision. Let the probability that the unintelligent cause, 
chemical affinity, would, in its blindness, hit upon one of these 
requisites of a seeing eye, be expressed by any fraction, we 
care not how large. Then, according to the established law of 
logic, the probability that the same cause will produce a 
coincidence of two requisites is found by multiplying together 
the two fractions representing the two separate probabilities. 
Thus, also, the joint concurrence of a third has a probability 
expressed by the very small fraction produced by multiplying 
together the three denominators. Before we have done with 
the coordinations of a single eye, we thus have a probability, 
almost infinitely great, against its production by physical law 
alone. But in each head are two eyes, concurring in single 
vision, which doubles the almost infinite improbability. It is 
multiplied again by all the millions of the human and animal 
races. But this is not all. To say nothing of the coincidence 
of means in inorganic and vegetable nature, there are in 
animals many other organs besides eyes, which, if not as com- 
plicated, yet exhibit their distinct coordinations. These must 
multiply the improbability that fortuity produced all the 
former results ! Thus the power of numbers and the capacity 
of human conceptions are exhausted before we approach the 
absurdity of this theory of the production of ends in nature 
without final cause. 

12. We look, then, at these combinations of means to results 
or functions, which unintelligent physical causes could not 
account for ; and we perceive this farther fact. Adjustments 
or coordinations are regularly made, in order to certain ends. 
The nature of the end proposed has determined the nature of 
the physical means selected, and the combination thereof. 
Thus : as the ship is evidently designed and purposed for 
sailing, so is the ear for hearing, and the eye for seeing. The 
function of sailing has determined the materials and structure 
of the ship : the function of hearing those of the ear : the 
function of seeing those of the eye. But the ship-building 
must be before the sailing : the ear and eye must exist before 
the hearing and seeing. The facts which we have, then, are 
these : Here are ends, coming after their means, which yet 
have acted causatively on their own precedent means ! But 
every physical cause precedes its own effect. No physical 
cause can act until it exists. Here, however, are ends, which 
exercise the influence of causes, and yet, against all physical 
nature, are causes before they have existence, and act back- 
wards up the stream of time ! Here is the function of sailing, 
which has effectively caused a given structure in a ship-yard, 
before this function was. 

13. To solve this paradox, there is only one way possible for 
the human mind. There must have been prescience of that 

future function. It is impossible that it can have acted 
causally, as we see it act in fact, except as it is foreseen. 
But foresight is cognition ; it is a function of intelligence ; it 
cannot be less. A mind has been at work, pre-conceiving 
that function and the things requisite to it, choosing the 
appropriate means, purposing the effective coordinations 
therefor, and thus shaping the work of the physical causes. 
This is "final cause" 

14. There is one sphere, within which the mind has intuitive 
and absolute knowledge of the working of final causes, as 
every atheist admits. This is the sphere of one's own con- 
sciousness and will. The man knows that he himself pursues 
final causes, when he conceives and elects future ends, selects 
means, and adapts them to his own purposed results. But 
is he not equally certain that his fellow-man also pursues 
final causes ? Doubtless. It is instructive to inquire how he 
comes to that certainty as to his fellow's soul. He has no 
actual vision of that other's subjective states ! Men have no 
windows in their breasts into which their neighbours peep, 
and actually see the machinery of mind and will moving. 
But this man knows that his fellow is pursuing final causes 
generically like those he consciously pursues himself; because 


he observes the other's outward acts, and infers final causes 
in the other's mind, from the great mental law of "like 
causes, like effects," by an induction guided by the perfect, 
visible analogy. 

15. But when we observe, in nature, these visible actions exactly 
analogous to combinations seen in our fellow-man when he 
pursues his final causes : why do not the same analogy and in- 
duction justify us in ascribing the]same solution ; that there are 
final causes in nature also ? Why is not the one induction as 
valid as the other ? There is no difference. It is vain to object, 
that whereas we see in our fellow a rational person ; we see 
in nature no personality, but only sets of material bodies and 
natural causations. For it is not true that we see in our 
neighbour a rational person, competent to deal with final 
causes. His soul is his personality ! And this is no more 
directly visible to us than God is visible in nature. What 
we see in our neighbour is a series of bodily actions executed 
by members and limbs, as material as the physical organs of 
animals : it is only by an induction from a valid analogy 
between his acts and our own, that we learn the rational 
personality behind his material actions. The analogy is no 
weaker, which shows us God's personality behind the final 
causes of nature. The question returns : Why is it not as 

16. Is a different objection raised: That man's pursuit of his 
final causes is personal and consciously extra-natural, exercised 
by personal faculties acting from without upon material nature; 
while the powers which operate everything in nature are 
immanent in nature ? The replies are two : First, in the 
sense of this discussion, human nature is not extra-natural, 
but is one of the ordinary spheres of nature, and is connected 
with the lower spheres by natural laws as regular as any. 
When the personal will of a man pursues a final cause, he 
does it through means purely natural : there is, indeed, a 
supra-material power at work, coordinating mind ; but nothing 
extra-natural or supra-natural appears. Why, then, may we 
not press an analogy so purely natural through all the 
spheres of nature ? Second : our opponents [Evolutionists, 
or Materialists, or Agnostics] refute themselves fatally ; for 
they are the very men who insist on obliterating even that 
reasonable distinction which we make between the material 
and mental spheres. They plead for monism in some form : 
they deny that mind and matter are substantively distinct ; 
they insist on including them in one theory of substance and 
force. They have, then, utterly destroyed their own premise, 
by denying the very distinction between personal mind and 


nature, on which alone their objection rests. On their ground, 
our analogical induction for final cause in nature is a perfect 
proof. They admit that our minds consciously pursue final 
causes. Bufc mind and physical nature, say they, are mani- 
festations of the same substance and force. Hence, when we 
see the parallel coordinations of physical causes to future ends 
in nature, just like those we consciously employ ; there is no 
other inference possible, but that nature, like us, pursues final 

17. The exception of Hume and his followers of our genera- 
tion is already virtually answered. He cavilled that the in- 
ference from our conscious employment of final causes to the 
same fact in nature is unsound, because of the difference 
between a person and a natural agency. Mr. Mill has echoed the 
cavil, while completely refuting it in another place.* Mr. H. 
Spencer has reproduced it in the charge that the inference 
labours under the vice of anthropomorphism; that it leaps 
from the conscious experience of our limited minds to an 
imaginary acting of an infinite mind (if there is any divine 
mind), about which we can certainly know nothing as to its 
laws of acting ; and it unwarrantably concludes that this abso- 
lute Being chooses and thinks as we finite, dependent beings 
do. The argumentum ad hominem just stated would be a 
sufficient reply. Or we might urge that, if God has made the 
human mind "after His image, in His likeness," this would 
effectually guarantee all our legitimately rational processes 
of thought against vice from anthropomorphism. For, in 
thinking according to the natural laws of our minds, we 
would be thinking precisely as God bids us think. And, 
should Mr. Spencer say that we must not " beg the question " 
by assuming this theistic account of man's origin, we might 
at least retort, that neither should he beg the question by 
denying it. We might also urge, that the difference between 
the normal acting of a finite mind, and of an infinite one, can 
only be a difference of degree, not of essence; that the 
thinking of the finite, when done according to its laws of 
thought, must be good as far as it goes ; only, the divine 
thinking, while just like it within the narrow limits, goes 
greatly farther. Sir Isaac Newton knew vastly more mathe- 
matics than the school-child; yet, when the school-child did 
its little "sum" in simple addition, "according to rule," 
Newton would have pronounced it right ; nor would he have 
done that " sum " in any other than the child's method ! 
Once more; the unreasonableness of the demand, that we 

* Theism) part i., " Marks of Design in Nature." 



shall reject any conception of the divine working, though 
reached by normal (human) inference, merely because it may 
be anthropomorphic, appears thus. It would equally forbid 
us to think or learn at all, either concerning God, or any 
other Being or concept different from man : for, if we are not 
allowed to think in the forms of thought natural and normal 
for us, we are forbidden to think at all. All man's cognition 
must be anthropomorphic, or nothing.' 

18. But the complete answer to these exceptions is in the 
facts already insisted on : that, in reasoning from "finality" in 
nature, to " intentionality," we are but obeying an inevitable 
necessity; we are not consulting any peculiarity of human 
laws of thought. In the operations of Nature, just as much 
as in our own consciousness, we actually see ends which 
follow after their physical efficients, exerting a causal in- 
fluence backward, before they come into existence, on the 
collocations of their own physical means, which precede. 
There is no way possible in physical nature by which a cause 
can act before it is. The law of physical causation is absolute ; 
a cause must have existed in order to operate. Hence we are 
driven out of physical nature to find the explanation of this 
thing, driven, not by some merely human law of thought, 
but by an absolute necessity of thought. The final cause 
which acted before it existed, must have pre-existed in 
forethought. Forethought is a function of mind. Therefore, 
there must be a Mind behind nature, older and greater than 
all the contrivances of nature. A great amount of thinking 
has been done in the finalities of nature. Who did that 
thinking? Not nature. Then God. The only alternative 
hypothesis is that of chance. We have seen that hypothesis 
fall into utter ruin and disgrace before the facts. 

19. Were all the claims of the Evolutionist granted, this 
wouldnot extinguish the teleological argument, but only remove 
its data back in time, and simplify them in number. For then, 
the facts we should have would be these : a few, or possibly 
one primordial form of animated matter, slowly, but regularly, 
producing all the orderly wonders of Life, up to man, through 
the sure action of the simple laws of slight variation, influence 
of environment, survival of the fittest. Here, again, are 
wonderful adaptations to ends ! And chance would equally be 
excluded by the numbers, the regularity, the beneficence of 
the immense results. The problem would recur: Who 
adjusted those few but ancient elements so as to evolve 
all this ? Teleology is as apparent as ever. We may even 
urge, that the distance, the multitude, the complex regularity 


of the later effects which we now witness, illustrate the 
greatness of the thinking but the more. The justice of this 
point may appear from the fact, that there are Theistic evolu- 
tionists who make the very claim just urged. They advance 
the evolutionist theory, and in the same breath they stoutly 
assert that in doing so they have not weakened, but improved 
the grounds of the teleological argument. However, we may 
judge their concession of this improved theory of evolution to 
be unwise and weak ; this other assertion is solid, that they 
are no whit inferior in knowledge or logic to their atheistic 
comrades and co-labourers, who pronounce the teleological 
argument dead. 

20. The attempt to account for structures adapted to func- 
tions by evolution, has no pretence, even, of applying, except in 
organised beings which perpetually reproduce their kinds. 
For it is the claim of slight variations in generation, and of 
the fuller development of nascent new organs by the reaction 
of environment, which form the " working parts " of the 
theory. But clear instances of finality are not confined to 
these vegetable and living beings. There are wondrous 
adaptations in the chemical facts of inorganic nature, in the 
mechanism of the heavenly bodies, in the facts of meteorology. 
Here, then, their speculation breaks down hopelessly. Have 
suns and stars, for instance, attained to their present ex- 
quisite adjustments of relation, and perfection of being, by 
the blind experiments of countless reproductions ? Then, 
the fossil-suns, unfitted to survive, ought to lie about us as 
thick as fossil polypi and mollusks ! 

21. The claim, that a blind conatus towards higher action felt 
in the animal may have assisted the plastic influence of environ- 
ment from without in developing rudimental organs, cannot 
assist the evolutionists. They differ among themselves as to 
the mode of such influence ; they contradict each other. 
Natural history fatally discredits the claim by saying, that 
the organ must be possessed by the species of animals, before 
any of them could feel any conatus towards its use. Can 
seeing be before eyes, even in conception ? No. How, then, 
could eyeless animals feel any conatus to see ? Let no one be 
deluded by the statement that a blind boy among us may feel 
a yearning to see. He is a defective exception in a seeing 
species, who do crave to see because they already have eyes ; 
and who suggest to their blind fellow the share in this desire 
by the other faculty of speech. It still remains true, that the 
species must have eyes beforehand, in order that individuals 


may experience a conatus for seeing. But the case to be 
accounted for would be the beginning of such conatus in some 
individual of a species, none of which had the organ for the 
function, and in which, consequently, none had even the idea 
of the function or its pleasures as the objective of such desire. 
If they resort to the assertion that this conatus towards a 
function may be instinctive and unintelligent, the fatal answers 
are : That their own sciences of zoology and physiology 
assure us that instincts are not found in cases where the 
organs for their exercise do not exist : A.nd that an instinctive 
conatus, being blind and fortuitous, would never produce 
results of such regularity and completeness, and those, exactly 
alike in each of the multitudes of a species. 

22. But the most utter collapse of the attempt to explain 
the finalities of Nature by the laws of a supposed evolu- 
tion, occurs when we approach those classes of organs, 
which complete their development while the influences of 
environment and function are entirely excluded; and these are 
exceedingly numerous. The fowl in the shell has already 
developed wings to fly with, in a marble case which excluded 
every atom of air, the medium for flying. So, this animal has 
perfected a pair of lungs for breathing, where there has never 
been any air to inhale. It has matured a pair of perfect eyes 
to see with, in a prison where there has never entered a ray 
of light. It has an apparatus of nutrition in complete working 
order, including the interadjustments of beak, tongue, swallow, 
craw, gizzard, digestive stomach, andintestine; althoughhitherto 
its only nutrition has been from the egg which enclosed it ; 
and this has been introduced into its circulation in a different 
manner. This instance of the fowl has been stated in detail, 
that it may suggest to the hearer a multitude of like ones. 
The argument is, that physical causes can only act when in 
juxtaposition, both as to time and place, with the bodies which 
receive their efficiency. But here, environment and function 
were wholly absent until the results, wings, eyes, ears, 
lungs, alimentary canal, were completed. Therefore, they 
had no causal connection whatever as physical causes. Their 
influence could only have been as final causes. 

23. Perhaps the deepest mysteries and wonders of Nature are 
those presented in the functions of reproduction. And to 
these Nature attaches her greatest importance, as she shows 
by many signs, seeing the very existence of the genera and 
species depend on this. The organs of reproduction present 
instances most fatal to our opponents, in all those cases where 
the male organs are in one individual, and the female in a 


different one of the same species ; and where their develop- 
ment is complete before they either can or do react upon 
each other in any manner. These instances not only include 
the great majority of the animal species, but many kinds of 
plants and trees; or, at least, different flowers of the same 
tree. The organs are exceedingly unlike each other, yet 
exactly adapted for future co-operation. This fitness is con- 
stituted not only by structure of masses, but by the most 
refined and minute molecular arrangements. If either of 
these delicate provisions is out of place, Nature's end is 
disappointed. Must not these organs be constructed for each 
other ? Yet the reaction of environment had no influence on 
their development ; for all interaction has been excluded until 
the maturity of the structures. Final cause is here too clear 
to admit of doubt when the cases are duly considered. 

24. The argument will close with these general assertions. 
Our conclusion has in its favour the decided assent of the 
common sense of nearly all mankind, and of nearly all schools of 
philosophy. All common men of good sense have believed 
they saw in the adjustments of the parts of nature to intended 
functions, final causes and the presence of a supernatural mind. 
The only exceptions have been savages like the African Bush- 
men, so degraded as to have attained to few processes of 
inferential thought on any subject. All speculative philosophers 
have been fully convinced of the same conclusion, from Job 
to Hamilton and Janet, except those who have displayed 
eccentricity in their philosophy, either by materialism, ultra- 
idealism, or pantheism. This consensus of both the unlearned 
and the learned will weigh much with the healthy and modest 

25. The postulate that each organ is designed for an appro- 
priate function is the very pole-star of all inductive reasoning 
and experiment in the study of organized nature. At least, every 
naturalist proceeds on this maxim as his general principle ; and 
if he meets instances which do not seem to conform to it, he 
at once discounts them as lusus natwce, or reserves them for 
closer inquiry. When the botanist, the zoologist, the student 
of human physiology, detects a new organ, not described before 
in his science, he at once assumes that it has a function. To. 
the ascertainment of this function he now directs all his 
observations and experiments ; until he demonstrates what it 
is, he feels that the novelty he has discovered is unexplained ; 
when he has ascertained the function, he deems that he has 
reduced the new discovery into its scientific place. Without 
the guidance of this postulate of adapted function for each 
organ, science would be paralysed, and its order would become 


anarchy. The instances are so illustrious, from Harvey's 
inference by the valvular membranes in the arteries to a circu- 
lation of the blood, down to the last researches of zoology and 
botany, that citation is needless for the learned. But this pos- 
tulate is precisely the doctrine of final cause. 

26. Belief in final cause is the essential counterpart to, and 
immediate inference from, the belief in causation. But this is 
the very foundation of inductive logic. There is no physicist 
who does not concur with us in saying, that all induction from 
instances observed to laws of nature is grounded in the " uni- 
formity of nature." But has this nature any stable uniformity? 
Is not her attribute variation and fickleness ? The first aspect 
of her realm is mutation, boundless mutation. Or, if she is 
found to have, in another aspect, that stability of causation 
necessary to found all induction ; how comes she, amidst her 
mutabilities, to have this uniformity ? Her own attributes are 
endless change, and blindness. Her forces are absolutely 
unintelligent and unremembering. No one of them is able to 
know for itself whether it is conforming to any previous uni- 
formity or not : no one is competent to remember any rule 
to which it ought to conform. Plainly, then, were material 
nature left to the control of physical laws alone, she must 
exhibit either a chaotic anarchy or the rigidity of a mechanical 
fate. Either condition, if dominant in nature, would equally 
unfit her to be the home of rational free agents, and the subject 
of inductive science. Let the hearer think and see. Nature is 
uniform, neither chaotic nor fatalistic, because she is directed 
by a Mind, because intelligence directs her unintelligent 
physical causes to preconceived, rational purposes. Her uni- 
formities are but the expressions of these purposes, which are 
stable, because they are the volitions of an infinite, immutable 
Mind, " whose purposes shall stand, and who doeth all His 
good pleasure," because all His volitions are guided, from the 
first, by absolute knowledge and wisdom, perfect rectitude, 
and full benevolence. Nature is stable, only because the 
counsels of the God, who uses her for His ends, are stable. 

None but theists can consistently use induction. 

The CHAIRMAN (D. HOWARD, Esq., Vice-President Chemical Society). 
We have in the first place to thank the author of this paper, whom w 
would gladly have welcomed among us, had he been able to leave his distant 
home. Having been a quarter of a century ago a very distinguished soldier, 
he has since added to that distinction the further claim upon our recog- 
nition which belongs to his position as a professor and deep thinker. It may 
seem strange that after all these years of discussion we should still have to 
go back to so elementary a matter as the causes which Aristotle classed 


as first causes. And yet there are few things which create so much discussion 
as the question of first cause. I once heard a distinguished lawyer ask a 
distinguished physician, in cross-examination, what was the cause of a 
man's illness, and the physician replied, " If you will tell me what you mean 
by 'cause,' I will answer the question." The lawyer, however, thought 
better of it, and the question was not answered ; and we were consequently 
cheated out of a very important discussion. Doubtless, the barrister was 
astute enough to know that most men would have fallen into the trap he 
had laid, and, in describing the cause of the man's illness, have afforded 
a chance for a clever rejoinder. And so it is in the matter before us. We 
see men entirely ignoring the very ancient distinction between the different 
causes by confusing, under the common term "causes," all those which 
Aristotle, if not the first to draw attention to, was undoubtedly the first to 
classify. The more we pursue the question the more evident it is that, take 
what view we may of creation, whether we consider the present state of 
things to have been brought about by evolution, or by a mere single act of 
creation, we are just as much unable to escape from the argument of 
final cause in the one case as in the other. We are, in fact, unable to free 
our minds from the belief that there has been a distinct purpose in nature. 
It is, I believe, perfectly true that there is nothing in the belief in evolution 
to prevent a full and complete belief in a final power and creative cause, 
though I quite share the author's view of the very incomplete proof of the 
universality of evolution. Therefore, this question of final cause is by no 
means one which it is needless to discuss in these days. It is not one, I 
think, which has been so thoroughly thrashed out that there is no necessity 
to say any more upon it. There are, however, many here who I believe 
are well able to discuss the subject, and I hope they will give us the benefit of 
their thoughts upon it. 

Mr. HASTINGS C. DENT, C.E., F.L.S. In offering a few remarks on this 
subject, I would first of all say that there have been few papers read in 
this room to which I have listened with deeper interest ; and 1 cannot but 
regard it as a most important contribution to the transactions of this Society. 
I propose to confine my remarks to a few criticisms, and I may say that there 
are many points in the paper which are so very clear and plain that I might 
almost call them axioms. I will draw attention to some half dozen of these, 
and the first to which I would refer relates to contrivance and choice. In 
section 2, the author says, " Wherever nature presents us with structures, 
and especially organs, adapted to natural ends, there has been contrivance, 
and also choice of the physical means so adapted. But contrivance and 
choice are functions of thought and will, such as are performed only by some 
rational persons." There is a very admirable illustration of this given 
in section 7. It is not the old idea of Paley about the watch, but 
rather an enlargement of that idea. The author says, "Here the blind force 
of gravity is caused to realise an end so unlike its usual physical effects in < 
the fall of hail-stones and rain-drops, of leaves and decayed branches." 


Then I come to axiom No. 2, which is to be found in section 8. The author 
says, " Function is not the determining cause, but only the physical result 
of the existence of the organ. Birds did not get wings in order to fly ; 
but they simply fly because they have wings." In the same way, we 
are told in paragraph 12, "Adjustments, or coordinations,} are regularly 
made in order to certain ends ; " and again, on the same page, "As the ship 
is evidently designed and purposed for sailing, so is the ear for hearing and 
the eye for seeing." Axiom No . 3 is given in section 9, where the author 
says, "We know that the sure attribute of the results of blind chance 
or fortuity, is uncertainty, irregularity, confusion ; " and then we have 
axiom No. 4, a little further down, " It becomes rationally impossible 
to believe that these frequent and regular concurrences of the effects 
came from the blind, fortuitous coincidence of the physical causes, 
acting each separately from the other." Again, in the concluding part 
of section 17, we are told, "The difference between the normal acting 
of a finite mind and of an infinite one can only be a difference of degree, 
not of essence ; " and then we have an analogy between the child's 
sums and those of Sir Isaac Newton. The fifth axiom is to be found 
at the end of paragraph 20, where the author confutes the theory of 
gradual evolution, or the doctrine of organisms obtaining perfection. 
Here the author gives us a splendid specimen of analytical reasoning, by 
citing the case of the sun and the stars, as to which he says, " Have suns 
and stars, for instance, attained to their present exquisite adjustments of 
relation and perfection of being by the blind experiments of countless 
reproductions ? Then, the fossil suns, unfitted to survive, ought to lie 
about us as thick as fossil polypi and mollusks." There is one more 
axiom. It appears at the end of section 21 : " Their own sciences of 
zoology and physiology assure us that instincts are not found in cases where 
the organs for their exercise do not exist." May I be allowed, very humbly, 
to take exception to one item in section 22 ? I would venture to suggest 
that the argument there employed is weak, because it can be so easily con- 
troverted or answered by the evolutionists. The author says, " The most 
utter collapse of the attempts to explain the finalities of nature by the laws 
of a supposed evolution occurs when we approach those classes of organs 
which complete their development while the influences of environment and 
function are entirely excluded, and these are exceedingly numerous." He 
then refers to the fowl in the egg, as obtaining all its different organs neces- 
sary for the consumption of food, and the other needs of its being. Now, 
the evolutionist would say the fowl has merely inherited organs which are 
transmitted in the egg, and that, consequently, improvement or degeneration 
takes place after the animal has emerged from the egg-shell ; every creature 
becoming more complex as the embryonic stage becomes more complicated. 
I do not know any creature that emerges from an egg without possessing 
some organs which it could not use while in the egg. 

Rev. J. WHITE, M.A. May I take the liberty of offering a few remarks ? 


I think that, even if we admit all the evolutionists lay claim to, nevertheless, 
the teleological argument that of a final cause for the existence of a rational 
and intelligent Creator still remains unanswered. Evolution only accounts 
for the existence of the universe as a going machine, successive generations 
and variations being continually produced, and those generations being per- 
petuated in a manner beneficial to the creatures generated. I say, admitting 
all this as an explanation of the natural history of the universe, it still fails to 
exclude the teleological argument that the creatures which exist must have 
had the power of variation bestowed upon them. The creature is put into 
an environment which enables it to fulfil its functions and to bring about 
the results we witness ; but all this implies design and purpose. It is what 
could not have occurred by chance or accident. Therefore, I think, 
material evolution does not militate against the belief we entertain, 
and that it is rational to entertain, as to the universe having been created 
by a God who had in view the perfection of the creatures by which 
it is inhabited. Evolution is to be regarded simply as one of the means 
by which this perfection and improvement have been brought about. In 
point of fact, the whole argument brought by the evolutionists against 
theism, seems to me very like the old illustration which, in accounting 
for the movement of a watch, went back to the spring and left the origin 
of that part of the machinery unexplained. These scientific theorists 
attempt to explain the existence of the universe without a Creator. They 
merely explain some of the processes, but fail altogether to touch their 
origin. It is a very remarkable thing how completely all the efforts of human 
science have failed to explain the origin of anything. Professor Max Miiller 
has pointed out that all the attempts to explain the beginning of any language 
have utterly failed, and that there is not the slightest prospect of our obtain- 
ing such knowledge. He adds the remark, that the human intellect seems 
equally to fail in ascertaining the beginning of everything else. Therefore, 
I cannot think that the argument for evolution although I admit evolution 
to be true as far as it accounts for a considerable number of steps in the 
process by which the creatures of the universe have been improved does 
dispose of the teleological argument for a final cause, which the author of 
this paper has put before us in so admirable a manner. 

Mr. DENT. I should like to ask the last speaker whether he accounts for 
the appearance of man by evolution ? 

Rev. J. WHITE. My argument was only that, admitting evolution to be 
entirely proved, and that it could be shown that man was descended from 
an ape or a tadpole, still this does not do away with the teleological argu- 
ment that there is design in nature, and that generation is only a means by 
which it is worked out. 

Mr. DENT. Does not that go against the statement of Genesis? 

Kev. J. WHITE. I only say, supposing the case of the evolutionist to be 
admitted, still it does not militate against, nor upset, the argument advanced 1 
in the paper. This was what I intended to express. 



Captain FRANCIS PETRIE (Hoii. Sec.}. I have received the following 
communication from Surgeon-General C. A. Gordon, M.D., C.B., who is 
unavoidably prevented from being present. 

Physical causes are the real proximate producers of all phenomena, sec. 4. 

But the fact that they are so leaves the ultimate cause of those phenomena 
unexplained. For example, a match applied to gunpowder is the immediate 
cause of an explosion. But the why of this result is not explained by the 
occurrence of the explosion. 

In physiology we know that each organ in the body performs its own 
definite function, and none other ; also, that the several functions of organs 
are influenced by immaterial causes, as the emotions, &c. The fact we 
know ; the why remains mysterious and unknown. 

And so with particular causes of diseases, and action of drugs employed in 
treatment. The fact that definite effects follow the causes and the drugs 
is matter of actual experience. The why, that is, the ultimate cause, in 
the one case as in the other, is unrevealed. 

Materialists assert that the phenomena of mind differ rather in degree than 
in kind from the phenomena of matter. 

As a matter of fact, as little is known of the ultimate and occult pro- 
perties of matter as there is known of the corresponding properties and 
faculties of mind. As expressed by Baxter " Men who believe that dead 
matter can produce the effects of life and reason, are a hundred times 
more credulous than the most thorough-paced believer that ever existed." 

The CHAIRMAN. I wish the author had been here to have answered 
the friendly criticisms that have been made upon his paper. The point 
to which our attention has been called in regard to the answer of the 
evolutionist as to the formation and growth of the fowl in the egg, points 
to one of those curious things that have always passed my comprehension. 
It is assumed, undoubtedly for a very good reason, as we see that such is 
the case in nature, that the influence of heredity is an immense power ; but 
what right have we, from the theory of pure natural selection, to assume any- 
thing of the kind ? What right have we to assume that extraordinary 
persistency of type which is one of the most remarkable characteristics of all 
animals ? Granting, for the sake of argument, that the peculiar transforma- 
tions undergone by the embryo are a proof of the past history of the race, 
how can we, from the characteristics before us, form a conclusion as to 
the cause of this ? But there is, of course, the other possible explanation, 
that those singular points which are appealed to as evidences of past 
history, are evidences, not of past history, but of the present position of 
the animal in the scheme of creation. This is as much in favour of the 
teleological point of view as it is in favour of the evolutionist. We have to 
thank the author for a most interesting paper. 

Mr. D. M'LAREN. In section 20 of the paper, the author speaks of the 
" wondrous adaptations in the chemical facts of inorganic nature, in the 
mechanism of the heavenly bodies, in the facts of meteorology," the slightest 


derangement of which would be fatal to the whole of the existing animal 
creation. Have the evolutionists attempted to notice or explain the adjust- 
ment of the masses, and forces, and distances of the heavenly bodies, as 
bearing on the argument in favour of teleology ? 

The CHAIRMAN. As far as my reading goes, there is absolutely no modern 
argument in that direction. Undoubtedly, a few centuries back the alche- 
mists gave us a most interesting history of the evolution of matter, and 
Paracelsus gave us certain speculations which are not looked upon with 
respect by modern scientists, but form a curious parody of some forms of 
modern thought. 

Mr. G. WISE. We find in the amoeba that which corresponds to diges- 
tion, reproduction, and many of the functions of highly organised 
creatures like ourselves. I have been reading the introductory chapter to 
Foster's Physiology, and he there very beautifully shows that function pre- 
cedes organisation, while a great German physiologist says that organs are 
simply the localisation of functions. I should like to know whether that is 
true or not ? 

The CHAIRMAN. I wish some able physiologist were here to answer that 
question. For my part I think there is a good deal more of organisation in 
the amoeba than the microscope will show. The differentiation of protoplasm 
is not to be measured by our powers of perception. 

Mr. WISE. It is said that they are jellies which are purely transparent. 
Can we in that case discern anything corresponding to organisation ? 

The CHAIRMAN. If an apparently perfectly structureless piece of jelly 
performs functions, is not that a proof of organisation ? * 

The meeting was then adjourned. 

* Professor Lionel Beale, M.B., F.R.S., has kindly added a paper entitled 
" Notes on Structure and Structureless." 



I am much indebted to the honorary secretary for sending me a proof of 
Dr. Dabney's paper. It seems to me to be the most lucid and closely 
reasoned essay upon the subject that I have read. 

It is instructive to observe how difficult it is for the evolutionists, though 
they discard the doctrine of final causes, to escape its practical dominancy 
over their reasonings and methods. In their search after modifications in 
the structure and functions of plants and animals, they are guided, equally 
with Harvey, by the idea of some object to be accomplished. The evolu- 
tionist writes as though Nature were always working up to quasi-final 
causes, though his theory is that no such direct cause exists, there being no 
intelligence to plan such intention. Nature accomplishes what would be 
accomplished by an intelligence having an intention in view, and on the 
same lines, only by a different method, namely, that wherever Nature by 
any adventitious accidental change hits upon that which will give a plant or 
animal a better chance in the struggle for existence, that better chance, to 
be followed by an infinite number of better chances (though why so followed 
we are not clearly told), establishes a new dynasty. The result in the new 
dynasty is such as would be obtained by intelligent design. Thus the 
language of design is continually used. For instance (to take up the first 
evolution article that comes to hand, Mr. Grant Allen's Diversion of Seeds, 
ia Knowledge, November, 1885), we read, "This very sedentary nature of 
the plant kind renders necessary all sorts of curious devices and plans, on 
the part of parents, to secure the proper start in life for their young seed- 
lings. Or rather, to put it with stricter biological correctness, it gives an 
extra chance in the struggle for existence to all those accidental variations 
which happen to tell at all in the direction of better and more perfect dis- 
persion." Now here the first intuition of the mind is towards " devices and 
plans," which then is immediately corrected by the superior " accident " 
theory. If " accidental variations, which happen to tell " in the direction of 
more perfect establishment, really produce what would be produced by a 
wise design, why should we refuse to believe the design, and choose the 
incomparably more difficult theory that " accidental variations " alone, " that 
happen to tell," have accomplished precisely what design would accomplish ? 
What scientific advantage has the " accidental variations " theory over the 
final cause, which is, after all, practically admitted? How design has 
worked is another matter. Its method may be a perfectly legitimate subject 
of inquiry. It may have worked, perhaps, in part by variations in plants and 
animals. But when I speak of variations as " accidental," what do I really 


mean by " accidental " 1 Have I any proof that what seems to me to Le 
accidental is not the result of some law or some intention ? Professor Huxley 
seems to imply such a law or laws, and to deny anything actually accidental, 
when he says, "The whole world, living and not living, is the result of the 
mutual interaction, according to definite laws, of the forces possessed by the 
molecules of which the primitive nebulosity of the universe was composed." 
" If this be true," he goes on to say, " it is no less certain that the existing 
world lay, potentially, in the cosmic vapour, and that a sufficient intelligence 
could, from a knowledge of the properties of the molecules of that vapour, 
have predicted, say the fauna of Britain in 1869, with as much certainty as 
one can say what will happen to the vapour of the breath on a cold winter's 
day." These laws, then, govern what the evolutionists elsewhere call 
*' accidents." Whether Mr. Herbert Spencer's " Energy " would eliminate 
" accident," strictly speaking, from the universe, or not, I cannot tell. But 
if so, it explodes the whole of Mr. Darwin's theory based on the " Survival 
of the fittest," at least, as it is used by the evolutionists. The only value 
of Mr. Spencer's " Energy." however, to many of us, is to cover an infinity 
of nebulous thought ; for the idea conveyed by the word is simply " power 
for work," wherever found. And it is difficult to see what we can really 
establish upon the endeavour to unify in speech or theory the power for 
work of some kind or other that exists all over the universe. But if there 
be one such "Energy" behind its manifold ramifications, and if it be working 
out such harmonies and adaptations in Nature as would be worked out in 
obedience to final causes existing in some intelligent intention, is that 
" Energy " blindly-intelligent or ^mm-intelligent ? or how am I to under- 
stand it ? Does it only prompt " accidental variations " ? or does it work 
on definite lines ? If the latter, where is the " accident " ? And if the 
" Energy" develope final causes, how are we to eliminate from it the attri- 
bute of Mind ? 

Surely in eliminating the doctrine of final causes from the Universe, the 
evolutionists destroy the only real guide we can take for unravelling, so far as 
we can unravel, the functions of Nature. Moreover, they thus deny that 
which they themselves practically follow throughout their investigations. 

"Accident" versus "Certainty," as a guide to the explanation of the 
harmonies and adaptations of the Universe, seems to be the greatest philoso- 
phical paradox conceivable. 


ALTHOUGH jelly, as, for example, the jelly-like matter of which 
many of the Acalephae are composed, or the so-called vitreous 
humour of the eye, appears perfectly transparent when 
examined by the unaided eye, as transparent as glass, both 
these tissues have a distinct structure, which may be revealed 
by microscopical examination, especially if the delicate tissue 
be tinted with certain colouring matters. But there is 
another kind of matter said to be " jelly-like," which is found 
throughout the living world, in which no structure whatever 
can be discerned, though it be submitted to examination by 
the very highest magnifying powers. And in many cases 
where, in relation with this matter, fibres or fibre-like 
structures, or granules, or globules have been discovered, these 
are in contact with, and in most cases formed from, the 
transparent and really structureless substance. And where, 
as in many instances, these bodies exhibit movements, the 
latter are communicated from the semi-fluid structureless 
material. In fact, it is this which moves and causes the 
movement in the fibres or granules. Now, it has been 
somewhat positively laid down that structure will ere long be 
discovered in this truly structureless living matter. " By 
higher magnifying powers than any we possess or can have 
any idea of, structure will be revealed." Those who agree in 
this contention, and they are many, do not attempt to show 
how the " structure " of their imagination will help them to 
explain the facts of life. They seem to be very certain that 
the mysterious phenomena of life are to be somehow explained 
by structure, although we have been for years discovering 
structure after structure, and we are just as far from anything 
like a reasonable explanation of life as ever nay, we are 
farther than we were some years ago, because views have been 
forced upon us of late which are not supported by facts. We 
are told we must accept these views because the facts which 
are to prove them will certainly be discovered at some future 
time, and we are in the mean while to believe in the prophetic 
demonstrations vouchsafed to us by scientific prophets. 

But, if we allow ourselves to be guided by actual facts and 


observations, and discard all prophetic assurances, we shall 
come to a very different conclusion. Look where we will in 
the living world among organisms, high and low, complex and 
simple, at the earliest period of existence, in the adult and in 
old age, in forms and types of such antiquity that, could we 
carry ourselves back for tens of thousands of years, we should 
find examples of the very same forms growing and multiplying 
as are now with us, and in creatures which have perhaps only 
exhibited their present characteristics during recent times. 
We come face to face with perfectly clear, transparent, 
colourless, semi-fluid or diffluent matter, so utterly devoid of 
any character to which the term " structure " can with fairness 
be .applied that every part moves freely, not only from one 
place to another, or vibrates backwards and forwards, but 
every part seems to move into and out of every other part. If 
" structure " can be applied to this matter, the term may be 
applied to clear mucilage, or to syrup, or to water in the 
liquid state. We must then carefully distinguish the " struc- 
ture" we mean when we apply the word to mobile liquids 
from that we indicate when we speak of the ( ' structure " of a 
tissue, of a cell, or to the " structure " of a crystal, of a rock, 
&c. By " structureless }) I mean not only that no threads, or 
fibres, or lines, or dots, or parts, or particles can be discerned 
by the use of the highest powers of the microscope, but that 
every part of the matter termed " structureless " is mobile, 
and can freely pass amongst other portions, and concerning 
which structure of every kind must be considered absent if the 
question be regarded from a purely theoretical standpoint only. 

No tissue can be formed, no structure can be evolved, no 
secretion produced, no beat of heart or movement of respira- 
tion, no contraction of muscle, no emanation or flow of nerve- 
current, not even the lashing of a cilium, or the taking up of 
a particle of food, can be effected without changes in the 
absolutely structureless. How any one in these days, with the 
facts before him, can be searching for structure which shall 
enable him to account for actions a,nd functions peculiar to 
living things is most extraordinary. All that lives, and all 
that has lived, has begun not in structure, but in the 
structureless; and whenever in a living thing structure is 
found there some time before would have been discovered 
structureless living matter only. 

While no one can be found who will maintain that all 
function and peculiarity of arrangement, and of chemical 
composition, of variety of organisation and type in the living 
world, is due to original structure certainly existing, though 
not discovered, at the earliest period of existence of the 


minute germ, almost every one who writes or speaks on the 
subject seems to believe that " structure " is the undiscovered 
secret. On the other hand, to my mind the evidence we 
already possess is conclusive that all structure is a consequence, 
and not a cause, of prior changes in the structureless, and 
that universally in the living world " structure " is preceded 
by absolute structurelessness. 

The source of all function as well as structure and 
character of all forms and types, is the structureless. It is to 
the operation of some force, power, or property temporarily 
(that is, while the matter in question is alive) in or upon the 
material particles of this matter, that structure is due. " Life " 
is associated with the structureless only, and is altogether inde- 
pendent, not only of structural peculiarities, but of internal 
chemical composition. Matter exhibiting structure never pos- 
sesses the vital property of producing its like, and structural 
characters and chemical properties can be demonstrated only 
in the case of matter which has ceased to live, not in the 
structureless substance which is actually alive, that is during 
the time when it manifests all its wonderful powers of move- 
ment, formation, and transmission of power like its own to the 
non-living. Life must be sought for not in the structure, 
but in the structureless. It is here only we can study its 
working. In structure, and action, and function we see the 
results, the consequences of the working of life-power, but 
the life-power itself has fled ere structure can be discerned, 
or the presence of a definite chemical compound proved. 

We know that the material substance of the structureless is 
alone under the dominion of life-power, and that the matter of 
all structure, like the rest of the lifeless matter of the universe, 
is under the sway of ordinary physical law. I do not see how 
we can proceed one step in the study of the truly vital until 
the absolute structurelessness of living matter, and the 
temporary domination of the physical and chemical by the 
vital, be admitted ; and I venture to maintain that, if we had 
allowed our judgment to be guided by facts of observation 
and experiment only, we should long ago have accepted these 
propositions as established, necessary, and incontrovertible 








C.M.G., LL.D., F.R.S. 

WHEN, in the winter of 1883-4, I had the pleasure of 
visiting some parts of Egypt and Syria, I had pre- 
pared myself, by previous study of books and collections, to 
devote as much of my time as possible to the investigation 
of certain critical and uncertain questions in the geology of 
those regions, and especially of the geological facts bearing 
on the advent and early history of man. Preliminary notes on 
these points were published in a short series of papers in the 
Geological Magazine (1884), and a paper on the " Bone Caves 
of the Lebanon," in the Transactions of this Society (vol. 
xviii), and the results were more fully given in my work 
Modern Science in Bible Lands, published in 1888, although 
the pressing occupations of the intervening three years did 
not leave sufficient time to work up all my notes and speci- 

* Eeference may also be made to Professor Hull's Paper, " A sketch 
of the Geological History of Egypt and the Nile Valley," in vol. xxiv 
of the Institute's Journal. 



Among these are some relating to a subject which im- 
presses itself very strongly on a geological traveller in the 
Nile Valley, namely, the various rocks and minerals used 
by the Egyptians from very early times, the purposes to 
which they were applied, and the manner in which they 
were quarried and worked. I made large collections to 
illustrate these points ; not, however, I may be excused for 
saying, by defacing monuments, but by collecting broken 
fragments lying on old sites, and by visiting quarries and 
natural exposures. Egypt affords unlimited material of this 
kind to a lithological collector, without detriment to existing 
works of art, and much may also be obtained from the 
people, who quickly understand the value both of rock 
specimens and fossils when pointed out to them, and who 
cannot fabricate these in the manner of clay scarabs and 
other imitations of antiques. 

The present notes may be considered supplementary to 
what is stated in the work above referred to. 


To these groups belong a large part of the monumental 
stones of Egypt ; and from the First Cataract and the hilly 
ranges east of the Nile they were transported to every part 
of the country, even to the shores of the Mediterranean and 
the neighbourhood of the Isthmus, and this not in small 
blocks but often in great masses much more weighty than 
any used in modern architecture or sculpture. For this, no 
doubt, the navigable water of the Nile and its canals, and 
the variations of its level in the inundations, afforded great 

The most important of all these rocks is the celebrated red 
granite of Syene, so generally employed in the greater 
Egyptian monuments. I have given detailed descriptions of 
this rock and its varieties in the Appendix to Modern Science 
in Bible Lands, and may merely say here that it is essentially 
a holo-crystalline rock, often coarse-grained and consisting 
mainly of orthoclase and plagioclase felspars, with a little 
microline associated with hornblende and quartz, the latter 
usually in small quantity. When mica is present, it appears 
to be biotite, and there are sometimes minute crystals of 
apatite, sphene. and magnetite. 

The study of this rock in place at Assouan convinces me 
that in regard to its mode of occurrence it is sometimes an 
intrusive or indigenous granite, and sometimes a true bedded 


gneiss. Though the minerals in these two kinds of rock may 
be the same, they are distinct both in macroscopic and micro- 
scopic characters and mode of occurrence, and should not be 
confounded by geologists. Though the granites may in 
some cases be locally impressed with a laminated texture, 
there is no necessity for confounding them with gneisses, 
which are true bedded rocks ; and their practical value, as 
well as the natural products derivable from the two classes 
of rocks (as soils and sands, for instance), are quite different. 
Huge dykes of the intrusive granite occur at Assouan, 
traversing the gneissic beds, and thick beds of the gneiss, 
interstratified with micaceous arid hornbleridic schists. Both 
.species were worked by the ancient Egyptians. The great 
obelisks and the lining stones of the Temple of Bubastis, 
or some of them, are examples of the former. The 
broken colossus of Rameses at the Ramesseum, in Thebes, 
is a good example of the latter. The stupendous fragments 
of this statue confirm the description of Diodorus, who 
commends it not only for its great size, but for the " excel- 
lence of the stone." This is, in fact, not a granite, but a 
mass taken from a thick bed of gneiss of fine colour and 
uniform texture, and more dense and imperishable than any 
true granite. It must have sat 60 feet high, and before it was 
sculptured must have weighed about 900 tons. It was sur- 
passed by but one other statue in Egypt, that gigantic one 
discovered by Petrie at Tanis, known only in fragments, 
which seems, without its pedestal, to have been at least 80 
feet in height. It also was of the red stone of Syene. Of 
the two lands of so-called Syene granite, the gneissic 
variety is the more compact and durable, and the more re- 
sisting to the action of the weather. This is a usual circum- 
stance elsewhere, and probably depends on the fact that the 
gneisses have been subjected to extreme pressure during 
their crystallisation. The orthoclase gneisses and granites 
of Assouan are not distinguishable from those of the Lau- 
rentian series of North America. The gneissic variety used 
in some of the older structures at Gizeh is porphyritic, or an 
" augen-gneiss," having large crystals of pale-reddish 

The shallower sculptures on many monuments of this 
stone seemed to have been chiselled'in the usual way, but 
the more deeply-cut hieroglyphics and figures were probably 
worked in the first instance with the hollow drill. 

A very remarkable stone employed in Egyptian sculpture 
is that variety of gneissoid rock known to Canadian geolo- 



gists as anorthite rock or gneissic anorthosite. It occurs in 
various parts of the Laurentiaii districts of Canada, and 
more especially in those portions held by Logan to be Upper 
Laurentian. In Egypt, this rock first attracted my attention 
as the material of a magnificent statue of Kephren, the 
builder of the second pyramid, now in the Gizeh Museum. 
In this statue the lines of black hornblendic matter which 
mark the foliation are distinctly visible, especially on the 
right side. I was informed by M. Emil Brusch Bey that 
several similar statues in a broken condition had been 
found, and was enabled, through his kindness, to obtain 
some chips for examination. These were subsequently 
studied by Dr. B. J. Harrington, and compared with the 
analogous rocks of the Laurentian of Canada.* 

More recently, some new slices were cut and Avere 
examined by Mr. F. D. Adams, whose description is as 
follows : 

" In the hand specimen, it cannot be distinguished from a 
variety of anorthosite found at New Glasgow, P.Q., and else- 
where in the Laurentian system of Canada. 

" When the slide is examined under the microscope, the 
rock is seen to be very fresh, and to be composed essentially 
of felspar with a very small amount of hornblende, which, in 
one place, is intergrowu with a little pyroxene. 

" Nearly one-half of the felspar grains show polysynthetic 
st nations, and are, therefore, plagioclase ; the remainder, 
although occurring as untwinned individuals, show in almost 
every case good cleavages, and a biaxial figure when cut 
normally to an optic axis, and in appearance differ in no way 
from the twinned grains. They are probably also plagio- 
clase, since, as Hawes pointed out several years ago, the 
plagioclase in Canadian auorthoeite rocks frequently shows 
no striations. 

" The hornblende is present in very small amount as 
compared with the felspar, and occurs in irregular-shaped 
grains. It is pleochroic in green and yellowish tints. No 
quartz, iron ores, mica, or other minerals are present. 

" In the thin section, as in the hand specimen, it bears a 
strong resemblance to many of our Canadian anorthosite 

I have placed in the Redpath Museum a specimen of 

Modern Science in Bible Lands, pp. 270. 573. 


anorthosite from a Canadian locality with the Egyptian speci- 
men to show the resemblance. 

I did not see this rock in place, but Newbold seems to 
have found it in the mountain range eastward of the Nile, 
and it will no doubt be found to be related to the Lauren- 
tian axis of that range. The banded varieties or anorthosite 
gneisses, to which the material of the statue belongs, used to 
be regarded as altered sedimentary rocks. They are now 
more usually classed with igneous products, as either intru- 
sive masses laminated by pressure or bedded igneous rocks 
consolidated and altered. In all probability, the latter is the 
more correct view. 

It has been usual to call the material of these anorthosite 
statues diorite. For this there is a justification in the fact 
that the materials are in great part similar to those of that 
rock ; but the lamination, the crystalline structure, and the 
proportions of the constituents are different. A singular 
conjecture has also been started, to the effect that this 
material was derived, as well as the diorite found on the old 
Chaldean site of Tel-loh, from quarries in the Sinaitic Pen- 
insula, and it has even been imagined that a primitive school 
of sculpture existed at Sinai. Such hypotheses are, however, 
altogether baseless. The Chaldeans could obtain such ma- 
terials from the mountains on the Persian frontier, and the 
Egyptians from those of their own eastern territory, and 
neither could easily have transported large masses of stone 
from the Sinaitic district. 

The stone in question has many good points as a material 
for sculpture. It is of uniform texture and of moderate 
hardness, between that of marble and quartz. It is free 
from the quartz grains that render granite intractable. It is 
tough and takes a high polish. Its colour is agreeable, like 
that of a banded white and grey marble, and its lustre is 
superior to that of marble. It is extremely durable and 
resisting, and not liable to discoloration by weathering. 
Such properties, no doubt, commended it to the sculptors of 
the remote period of King Kephreu, and it is perhaps re- 
markable that a stone with so many good qualities has been 
neglected by more modern artists. The statue of Kephren 
now in the Gizeh Museum bears testimony by its excellent 
preservation to these properties, and probably the other 
statues which accompanied it would have been equally 
perfect had they not been wilfully broken. In the later times 
of Egyptian art this stone seems to have lost its attractions 
or fallen out of fashion, except for small objects. 


It would be extremely interesting to examine the quarries 
from which it was obtained, and to ascertain, if possible, the 
date when they began to be worked. 

Diorite of many varieties black, greenish, black with 
white blotches or mottled with black and white forms great 
dykes and eruptive masses in the crystalline district of Upper 
Egypt, and was always and deservedly esteemed by the 
Egyptians. I have elsewhere remarked that, as diorite is 
one of the best materials for the formation of polished stone 
hatchets, it must have very early attracted attention ; and its 
toughness, lustre, and susceptibility to a good polish must 
have indicated it as a material for sculpture. Accordingly, it 
is applied to a great variety of uses, from colossal statues 
down to platters and trays. A large proportion of the finest 
Egyptian statues are cut in diorite. 

A dark grey granite has also been employed. It differs 
from the diorite in containing a little free quartz, and in 
having orthoclase felspar ; but hornblende is usually its chief 
constituent. I have observed this black granite in a door- 
way at Karnak, in loose pieces on the site of a temple at 
Gizeh, in a sarcophagus at Thebes, in one of the Apis sarco- 
phagi at Sakkara, in statues of Bast, and in a figure of 
Nectanebo and a hawk from Pithoir in the British Museum. 

True diorite occurs in the Rosetta Stone and the Great 
Scarabasus and several sarcophagi in the British Museum,* 
in the Pithom Sphinxes now at Ismailia, and in the Hyksos 
Sphinx and the fish offerers in the Gizeh Museum, and a 
great number of statues. One of Rameses II in the 
British Museum is a stone from the junction of red granite 
and diorite, and thus consists of two distinct lands of rock. 


The term basalt has been used in a somewhat loose sense 
by writers on Egypt, apparently to designate any dark 
crystalline or subcrystalline rock. Some of the objects 
designated by this name prove to be dark-coloured horn- 
blendic granites, others are diorites. One rock to which the 
name very properly applies, occurs plentifully in loose chips 
on some parts of 'the pyramid plateau, as if 'portions of the 
temples or tombs which have disappeared from that area 
had been composed of it. A chip from this place has been 
sliced and has been examined for me by Mr. Frank D. 
Adams, of McGill University, with the following results : 

'Professor T. Eupert Jones, F.E.S., in Proc. Geol. Association, vol. viii. 


" From Old Temple, Gizeh. 

" This is a medium-grained basalt (plagioclase basalt), in 
all probability belonging to the subdivision of olivine Basalts. 

" It is composed of plagioclase, augite, olivine (?), iron 
ore, and apatite, with a small amount of glass. 

" Under the microscope, the rock is seen to be porphyritic, 
a few larger individuals of plagioclase and augite occurring 
scattered through the rock. These porphyritic plagioclase 
crystals are occasionally somewhat decomposed. The rest 
of the plagioclase occurs in well-twintied, lath-shaped crystals, 
and is quite fresh. The augite is often well crystallised, and 
shows its characteristic cleavage and inclined extinction. 
There are also a number of more or less rounded grains which 
seem to have been olivine, but which are now almost entirely 
altered to a brown decomposition product, showing aggre- 
gate polarisation, and which is apparently for the most part 
hydrated ferric oxide. This material stains the other minerals 
of the rock, and seems in some cases to result also from the 
decomposition of the augite or the glass. The iron ore, 
which is black and opaque, resembles magnetite, and occurs 
in irregular-shaped grains. The apatite is somewhat abun- 
dant, occurring in long, slender needles." 

A rock of this kind is described by Zittel and by Beyr'ich 
and Schweinfurth as forming eruptive masses in Lower Egypt, 
and probably of Tertiary age. One locality is at Abu Zabel 
less than 20 miles to the north-east of Cairo, and other 
localities occur in the Lybian Desert to the westward. 
Schweinfurth has found a rock of similar aspect in hills near 
the Red Sea, where it appears to have been quarried. The 
description given by Arzruni of the variety found at Abu 
Zabel closely corresponds with that of Mr. Adams quoted above. 

This kind of rock, probably because of its accessibility and 
abundance, or perhaps because of the good polish of which it 
is capable, and the slight play of colours of the felspar and 
olivine when seen in a bright light, was much used for small 
objects, especially in Lower Egypt. As examples of this, 1 
have in my collection a palette for grinding colours, a polisher, 
a perforated disk, two scarabs, some beads, and one of the 
sacred eyes used as charms. Statues and ornamental work 
in temples seem also to have been made of it ; but it is not 
well suited to long exposure to the weather, as the olivine 
and augite are acted on by the atmosphere, and become rusty. 


In Modern Science in Bible Lands, I have referred to 
this rock as an oliviue-dolerite, and some of the varieties of 
it seem to contain more olivine than that examined by 
Mr. Adams. The use of this material suggests the question 
whether the artists who first employed it may have taken a 
lesson from the ancient nations who used a similar material so 
extensively in Northern Syria, or whether, 011 the other hand, 
Egyptian masons may have been employed in Bashan. In 
every country, however, the builder seeking for material 
comes to similar conclusions, according as he attaches more 
or less importance to accessibility, durability, or beauty. 


This takes precedence in point of architectural use of all 
stones in Egypt, except, perhaps, the Eocene limestones. 
It is not only a soft and easily cut stone, and one which in 
the climate of Egypt is sufficiently durable ; but where the 
Nile cuts through its outcrop in the gorge of Silsilis, or 
Silsileh. it presents exposures and facilities for shipment 
unsurpassed in the world. It was, however, quarried at 
other places, as in the vicinity of Assouan and in Nubia, 
where the great temple of Abu Simbel is excavated in this 
rock. Here, and in the great colossal figures of Amenophis, 
in the Plain of Thebes, its use in sculpture of the colossal sort 
is seen, and at Karnak, Kom-ombos, Edfou, and Denderah, its 
architectural employment on the most gigantic scale. That 
it is the material of the stupendous hypostyle hall of Seti I at 
Karnak, should perhaps give it precedence over all other 
stones of construction. The way in Avhich in interiors it was 
coated with a gypseous cement and painted, I have else- 
where explained. In one quarry behind Assouan the patient 
excavator, instead of cutting rectangular blocks, had cut out 
at one operation large drums for columns, leaving semi- 
circular niches in the face of the rock. Regarded as a rock, 
it is a siliceous sandstone, composed of angular grains very 
loosely cemented, so that it is easily crumbled, and its colour 
varies from a light cream colour, or nearly white, to a 
yellowish-brown. Its age probably ranges from Permian to 
Lower Cretaceous,* and it differs from the newer sandstone of 
Jebel Ahmar in its less amount of siliceous cement and of red 
oxide of iron, and in the absence of any rounded grains. Its 

* Fossils and stratigraphical arrangement seem to indicate that there 
may be two Nubian sandstones, one later Palaeozoic, the other Cretaceous 
but they cannot at present be separated with certainty. I hav 
discussed this question elsewhere. 


date is evidently altogether anterior to the operation of that 
wind-drift which has produced the modern rounded desert 

4. LIMESTONE, &c. 

In a country where cliffs of this rock present themselves on 
very side, it is necessarily of great importance, both as a 
stone of construction and as cement. It is mostly of Eocene 
age, though some Cretaceous beds have been locally quarried, 
and it is of very various qualities. It may be coarse and 
unequal in grain, or filled with fossil shells, as Nummulites, 
&c., or may be fine and uniform in texture. It is sometimes 
hard as marble, in other cases soft and chalky. It may be 
grey or brown, or of a pure white. All these varieties were 
more or less used, the coarser and more unsightly for cores 
of pyramids, foundations, and other structures not intended 
to be seen. The stepped pyramid of Sakkara, one of the 
oldest known, is wholly composed of a brownish limestone, 
found in the vicinity. The pure white and fine grained 
varieties were employed for lining and casing buildings, and 
for ornamental work and sculpture. 

The finer varieties present under the microscope various 
characters. The most common and softest is of the nature 
of an indurated chalk ; a congeries of microscopic foramini- 
feral shells, and must be an oceanic deposit similar to 
chalk and globigerina ooze. This is the variety employed 
for casing the Great Pyramid, for lining many temples and 
tombs, for statues and monumental tablets, and it is the 
whitest kind quarried at Turra at present. A variety 
observed at Abydos is of a light grey tint and earthy aspect, 
but this has been coated with a white cement and coloured. 
Other varieties used in sculpture have a fine concretionary 
or oolitic structure, or are so cemented with infiltrated 
matter as to assume a minutely crystalline character. The 
fine-grained foraminiferal limestone lends itself to the cutting 
of hieroglyphic inscriptions of all kinds, and to the art of the 
colourist, so that it is admirably adapted to the uses to which 
it was applied in tombs and temples. 

A more modem limestone of later Tertiary age exists on 
the coast near Alexandria, and is quarried for building pur- 
poses. It is an organic rock, made up of fragments of shells, 
and is apparently similar in age and origin to the Pleistocene 
limestones found near Jaffa and Beyrout, on the Syrian coast, 
and to the modern shelly sandstones of the coast of the Red 
Sea, which are used for purposes of construction at Suez. 


Alabaster, as distinguished from limestone, is a crystalline,, 
translucent material, deposited in the manner of stalagmite r 
in veins, or filling caverns in the limestone. It is thus a 
local and irregular deposit ; but the Egyptians managed to 
obtain it in several places, in quantities not only sufficient for 
vases and minor ornamental purposes, but in blocks and 
slabs sufficiently large to form shrines and to line portions of 
tombs, and even of temples. One locality where it has been 
extensively quarried is m the cliffs on the west side of the 
Nile, near Beni Suef. 

The Egyptian alabaster is sometimes colourless, but more 
frequently banded with agate-like lines of grey and light 
brown, whence the name onyx-marble sometimes given 
to it. 

Gypseous or soft alabaster does not seem to have been 
much used in Egypt, but small vases and other objects made 
of it are sometimes found. 

Cleavable transparent calc-spar, probably obtained from 
veins in the limestone, was sometimes used by the Egyptians 
for minor ornaments and beads, probably as a substitute for 
rock crystal. 


My first acquaintance with this stone dates from a time 
long anterior to my visit to the locality. My late friend, 
Dr. Douglas, of Quebec, had formed in successive visits to- 
Egypt a large and interesting collection of antiquities, in 
examining which I noticed a small slab, or funereal stela r 
inscribed with hieroglyphics, and which specially attracted 
my attention from the fact that it was executed in quartzite 
of so great hardness as to defy ordinary sculpture with steel 
tools. At the time, I knew such rocks only as occurring in 
the old Cambrian series in Canada, and had not learned that 
they occurred in Egypt. The choice of a stone so hard 
seemed strange on the part of a people whom I had scarcely 
supposed capable of dealing with material so refractory, the 
use of the diamond drill by the ancient Egyptians being then 
unknown. I remarked at the time that the sculptor, or his 
employer, had evidently determined to possess an indestruct- 
ible monument, "regardless of expense," but it seemed im- 
possible to understand how he could by any expenditure 
have succeeded in his purpose. 

Jebel Ahmar, the Red Mountain, lies a little to the east of 
the Mokattam Hill, in the vicinity of Cairo, and from its- 


peculiar rugged and dark-coloured appearance attracts, more 
or less, the attention of all travellers, who have usually 
regarded it as of volcanic origin. Geologists, as Russegger, 
Newbold, Schimper, Fraas, Delesse, Schweinfurth, and Owen, 
have naturally given attention to it, and have discussed its 
relation to the fossil wood of the so-called petrified forests in 
its vicinity. 

Stratigraphically it consists of beds of more or less indu- 
rated siliceous sandstone resting on the Upper Eocene lime- 
stones of the Mokattam hill, but differing entirely from 
them in appearance and mineral character. The stratigraphy 
thus proves that these sandstones are newer than the Eocene, 
and they have usually been regarded as of Miocene age, so 
that we have here an example of an intensely indurated rock 
of comparatively modern date. Quite recently Mayer-Eimar 
has, on the ground of certain fresh-water shells found in con- 
nection with these beds, assigned them to the Toiigrian, or 
Lowest Miocene age,* and with this view the evidence of the- 
fossil trees is sufficiently in harmony. Of the older autho- 
rities, Russegger and Newbold seem to have very clearly 
understood the character and relations of these singular 
deposits. In point of fact, Jebel Ahmar, and some neigh- 
bouring eminences of similar character, constitute the unde- 
nuded remnants of thick beds of sandstone once spread 
uniformly over this region on both sides of the Nile, and 
deposited in shallow water succeeding the deeper water in 
which the Eocene limestones were laid down. Into this 
shallow water drifted many trunks of trees, principally of the 
genus Nicolia, and other exogenous trees believed to be allied 
to certain modern species of interior Africa. f With these are 
trunks of palms, and of Coniferous trees allied to the yew. 
The wood was silicified, and the sandstone in places 
hardened into quartzite by the percolation of siliceous 
waters. The action of the sea and of atmospheric agencies 
in later Tertiary times have removed the less consolidated 
portions, leaving the silicified trees scattered about, while 
there remained as rugged eminences those portions of the 
beds which had been hardened into quartzite by siliceous 

That this is the origin of these hills is evident from the 

* Bulletin Zurich Academy, 1889. 

t R. Brown, Quart. Journ. Oeol. Soc., iv. Carruthers, Geol Mag., vii. 
Schenk, in Zittel's Lybischen Wuste. One of the Conifers in my collection 
is a Ta.vites of modern aspect. 


nearly horizontal position of their layers, from their con- 
taining silicified wood so distributed, and with its cracks 
filled by sandstone, &c.. as to show that it was embedded in 
the natural state, and afterwards silicified, and by the 
irregular pipes or craters passing through the hardest parts 
of the beds, and apparently the channels of geysers, or 
fountains of heated water. The date of these aqueous 
outflows must have been little later than that of the 
beds of sand, and while they were still unconsolidated, 
and their drift wood in a recent state. Direct volcanic 
action is not known in connection with Jebel Ahmar, but 
volcanic masses of Tertiary age exist near Abu Zabel, 
between Cairo and Ismailia, and also in the Nubian Desert, 
which may be of the same age. These have been described 
by Beyrich, Schweinfurth, and Arzruni, and by Zittel.* 
They afford the basalt mentioned in previous pages. 

The Miocene or "Tongrien" sandstone of Jebel Ahmar 
may be estimated at 400 feet in thickness. It consists of 
siliceous sand partially rounded like the desert sand, but with 
many angular grains, and with the interstices more or less 
filled in with hyaline silica, sometimes entirely consolidating 
the mass. In some of the beds are layers of pebbles of 
quartz, agate, and jasper, many of which are evidently 
derived from the siliceous concretions in the underlying 
Eocene limestones. The colours vary from pure white to 
light red and dull purple, and the rock is often beautifully 
striped and mottled. From the enormous mass of chips 
around the hill, and the deep excavations in its sides, these 
beds of sandstone would seem to have been quarried from 
the earliest times, and they still furnish materials for mill- 
stones and for macadamising the streets of Cairo. 

The harder varieties must have afforded the earliest 
colonists a desirable material for hoes, diggers, hatchets, and 
war-clubs, and their successors continued to use it largely 
for hammers and polishers and pestles, as Avell as for mortars 
and millstones. But from the earliest periods of Egyptian 
sculpture and architecture, the beauty and durability of this 
rock were recognised, and the perfecting of the art of drilling 
hard stones in the palmy days of ancient Egypt enabled this 
refractory material to be employed even for the formation of 
monolithic shrines and colossal statues. 

Of the former, a shrine taken from the temple of Pithom, 

* Proceedings of Royal Academy, Berlin, 1882. 


and now in the square of Ismailia, forms a good illustration. 
I have already described this relic,* and may here merely 
remark that it is a rectangular, monolithic chamber, 6 feet 
long and 4 feet high, with a sphinx, left in hollowing the 
rock, in the centre. It is formed of the red variety of the 
stone, with the bedding in a vertical position, and appears to 
be of the age of Rameses II. A similar shrine is noticed by 
Petrie, as found in the ruins of Tanis, but I have not seen 
specimens of the stone of which it is made. 

One of the six monolithic statues, each about 20 feet high, 
sitting in front of the southern propylon of Karnac, is of a 
hard, light-brown variety of this rock with rows of agate 
pebbles, and though the upper part of the figure is gone, 
what remains impresses one very strongly with the audacity 
and perseverance of the Egyptian artist, who could attempt 
such a work in. a material as hard as agate. Petrie informs 
us that the remains of the two colossal statues described by 
Herodotus as standing on pyramidal pedestals in Lake 
Moeris, show that they were of this stone. That such 
statues should have, been broken up seems strange ; but it is 
accounted for by the demand for millstones and pestles, &c., 
of this material, so that a statue of quartzite was more likely 
to be destroyed than one of limestone. 

Among smaller works of this material the most perfect I 
have seen are two square slabs or tables of offerings, about 
4 feet wide, with bowls elaborately worked on their upper 
sides, and hieroglyphic inscriptions round their margins. They 
are in the Gizeh Museum. They are wonderful trophies of 
skill and patient work, apparently belonging to a very ancient 

Some travellers have stated that the two great Colossi of 
the plain of Thebes are of this stone, but this is an error. 
They are of a much softer rock, the Nubian Sandstone. 
The quarrying of this material may have been done by 
Avedging out blocks, taking advantage in this of the joints 
and bedding of the stone. It could then be roughly shaped 
by chipping and hammering, but the finishing, especially 
in shrines and statues and in putting inscriptions, must 
have been effected with the hollow drill, armed, perhaps, with 
diamond, as in the modern diamond-drill. Finally, the sur- 
face was probably polished by rubbing with sand of emery 
or other hard stones. Petrie has shown that the use of the 
hollow metallic drill, armed with gems, Avas well known in 

Modern Science in Bible Lands, p. 279. 


Egypt, and Pliny (xxxvi. 1 and 14) mentions its use in 
classical times, while, in sculptures in the Roman catacombs, 
we see the sculptor's journeyman hard at work drilling the 
sides of Roman sarcophagi of stone. 

Small objects, as pestles, polishers, and drill-sockets, were 
made of this stone. I have one of the latter with the depression 
for receiving the drill finely polished by long use. 


The following occur in the collections which I made in 
Egypt, and in specimens presented to the Peter Redpath 
Museum by the Egypt Exploration Fund. 

Talcose schist and talc rock, images of Osiris, moulds for 
casting small objects. 

Serpentine, scarabs, images of Osiris or ushebti, small vase. 

Chlorite schist, a small figure of Osiris. 

Argillite or clay slate, small figures or charms of various 
kinds, spear or knife. 

Red carnelian, beads and seals. 

Agate, peculiar variety of moss agate with circular ferru- 
ginous markings, also various agates and jaspers, some rudely 
shaped, others finely worked as beads, &c. 

White milky quartz, fragment of circular object. 

Green jasper, cubical bead, with angles truncated. 

Amethyst, beads and ornaments. 

Flint, knives, scrapers, piercers, arrow-heads. All are oi 
the kinds of flint common in the Eocene limestones. 

Garnet, beads in carbuncle and rosy varieties. 

Lapis lazuli, scarab, Otus eye, bead, &c. 

Steatite, small figures of animals, &c. 

Hematite, black and finely-polished Otus eye. 

Labradorite, oval button or knob, broken at base. 

Fluor spar, purple beads. 

Porphyry, red and other colours in various small objects. 

Fuchsite, or chromiferous green variety of mica schist, a 
rude fragment, possibly used for inlaying. This rock is 
found in the Tyrol, and in Maine, in the U.S. of America. 
No Egyptian locality is known. The specimen came from 

Mica schist, perhaps a whetstone, also fragments unworked. 

Turquoise, a ring stone. 

Emerald or beryl, in beads. 

The precise dates of these objects are of course unknown, 
but they were obtained mostly by Arabs from old Egyptian 


graves, and some of them may be of great antiquity, while 
others are probably comparatively modern. 


It may be well to add here a few words as to the use of 
flint among the ancient Egyptians. There has been much 
unprofitable discussion as to whether the numerous flakes 
Avhich may be picked up on the surface, especially near 
ancient sites, are natural or artificial, and if the latter, whether 
they are "prehistoric," or belong to the historical era. A 
few general statements of fact may serve to dispose of these 

(1.) The Eocene limestones of Egypt are rich in flint con- 
cretions. Some beds are especially stored with these ; and 
even in the fine-grained white limestones used for the more 
important architectural purposes, the artist was often troubled 
by kernels of siliceous matter. Where the limestones have 
been denuded, great numbers of these concretions remain on 
the surface, just as in the chalk districts of England, and the 
gravel beds belonging to the older deposits of the Nile Valley, 
as near Thebes, at Helouan, &c., are largely composed of 
flints. Hence at all periods flint has presented itself to the 
Egyptian as an available material for tools and other pur- 
poses, and at many localities, as at Helouan, at Jebel Assart, 
Thebes, and in the desert, east of the Nile, ateliers with cores 
as well as flakes, and arrow-heads, saws, &c., may be found. 

(2.) Besides the flints worked by man, innumerable chips 
exist that have been produced by nature. Some flints split 
or scale off under changes of temperature, and small rounded 
flakes produced in this way, and flints with conchoidal de- 
pressions are not uncommon. Torrential action, in all 
countries of flint gravel, has struck off numerous irregular 
flakes, and split the more friable flints into pieces, so that in 
some of the gravels a large proportion of the flints have been 
broken. On the one hand, there is little doubt that such 
naturally broken flints have been used as implements. On 
the other hand, any one who supposes all flint chips to be of 
human workmanship, even when they show a " bulb of per- 
cussion," is unduly credulous. 

(3.) As to date, there is abundant proof that in historic 
times flints were used for surgical purposes, for incisions in 
corpses, for circumcision, for sacrificial purposes, and prob- 
ably for common arrow-points. Careful study of the finer 
hieroglyphics of the calcareous tombs has also convinced me 


that these were scraped in the soft limestone with pointed 
flints, such as are often found abundantly in the vicinity of 
such tombs. 

(4.) It is, however, probable that in very ancient times 
when metals were scarce and dear, flint implements were in 
much more common use than in later times. Perhaps the 
most interesting cage of this is the comparison made by 
Petrie (Nature, Dec. 5th, 1889) of two towns, Kahun and 
Gurob, 50 miles south of Cairo, and on the two sides of the 
entrance to the Fayum. The former town belongs to the 
early time of the 12th Dynasty, the latter to the, 19th. In the 
former flint flakes are abundant, of various forms, and evi- 
dently applied to many uses. Among other tools a wooden 
sickle was found, armed with saw-edged flint flakes on the 
cutting side, thus connecting flint flakes with the reaping of 
grain. Petrie figures an example of this. In the other and 
later site flint flakes scarcely occur, and are rude and evidently 
applied to fewer uses. This seems to be an excellent illus- 
tration of the progress in one locality from a stone to a metal 
age. The interval of time amounts, however, to at least a 
thousand years, and the earlier period, that of Usurtasen II, 
was a time of high civilisation and great progress in the arts 
of life, though farmers in the central district "of Egypt were 
still reaping their fields with flint flakes. A parallel to this 
is found in the prevalent use of stone for hoes, &c., among 
the more civilised American nations, to which I directed 
attention in a paper on " Fossil A gricultural Implements," in 
the Transactions of this Society several years ago. 

This continuous use of flint flakes among a civilised people, 
and the fact remarked by Petrie, and which has been ob- 
served also in Scotland and America, that the flint imple- 
ments become ruder and more coarse as they are supplanted 
by metal, should furnish a caution against sweeping gene- 
ralisations as to ages of stone and metal, and of progress in 
the manufacture of flint tools and weapons. While at some 
times and in some localities there has been an advance from 
rude to finer implements, in other instances the process has 
been reversed. 

In connection with the materials referred to in this paper, 
certain geological and historical facts impress themselves 
very strongly on our minds. 

All the rocks of the Nile Valley, from the ancient crystalline 
and probably Laurentian granites and gneisses to the modern 


limestones on the coast, have furnished materials for con- 
struction and sculpture in Egypt, and this from a very early 
period. This is an indication of the mental activity, observa- 
tion, and intelligent industry of the people and their rulers, 
and, with their other achievements in irrigation and in utilising 
animals and plants, shows the enterprise of an early and 
active-minded state of society, as distinguished from the 
fixity and conservatism which appear in later times. 

In connection with this, it is, however, to be observed that 
no country in the world presents greater facilities for the 
discovery and exploration of its mineral treasures. The 
proximity of the different kinds of stone to the river in cliffs 
easily accessible, and the unrivalled facilities for transport 
are important factors in this matter. Still, in the hands of an 
unintelligent and unprogressive people, these facilities might 
have long remained undeveloped. 

It is also to be observed that frcm the earliest colonisation 
of Egypt there seems to have been a settled and orderly state 
of society, an exemption from foreign aggression, and an 
abundance of food, all tending to a large population, and 
giving facilities for the execution of public works : while the 
necessity of combination of effort in the irrigation and em- 
bankment of the land gave the habit of united action under 

The great works of Egyptian construction thus indicate to 
us a country rich in materials and having admirable means 
of conveyance and an abundant population, and a surplus of 
food products. On the other hand, they show that there 
was an educated class capable of forming and executing 
great plans with precision and taste, and this again, aided by 
a multitude of skilled artisans, and by ample command of 
unskilled labour, especially at certain seasons of the year. 

Historically, it is worthy of note that the great works of 
the Egyptians in stone, if we except the Pyramids, culminated 
in that period in which there is reason to believe the Hebrews 
had their residence in Egypt the time of the great 18th 
and 19th Dynasties. Within this time fall the Temple of 
Karnac and the greater buildings of Thebes, as well as the 
greatest works in statuary. We cannot, however, regard 
these works as other than purely Egyptian, for this was their 

Elan and style ; but the fact that the Pharaohs of this period 
ad at their disposal the peoples and the wealth of Western 
Asia must have been no unimportant determining cause of 
their enormous expenditures of material and labour. It w r as 
a, time when the artistic skill and ambition of the Egyptians 



had at command an abundance of men and means, and these 
they employed in quarrying and working stone for temples 
and statues on a scale which has not since been equalled in 
any part of the world. In more modern times there may be 
equally great triumphs of design and mechanical execution, 
but they run in different directions, and aim at different 
results from those of the ancient people of Khemi, who, with 
all their ordinary wants superabundantly supplied by the 
fertility of their soil and their own eminent agricultural skill, 
could afford to spend a vast amount of energy in great works 
of art, commemorative of their lives and national achievements 
or tributary to their religion. 

HARRISON & SONS, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St. Martin's Lane. 




JOHN FRASER, B.A., LL.D., F.R.S. (N.S.W.) 

New South Wales. 





S. AFRICA.: JUT A & Co., Cape Toum. P. DAVIS & SON, Natal. 

B.A., LL.D., F.R.S. of New South Wales. 

TJHE aborigines of Australia present a wide and inter- 
esting field for ethnographical study. The field is as 
yet to a large extent unexamined and unexplored ; for, although 
there are some books specially written about our aborigines, 
their customs and language, and although many of our older 
colonists can tell much about their habits, yet the subject 
has scarcely attained to the dignity of a scientific study. I 
purpose to-night to confine myself to a single department of 
this subject, the position and relation which our aborigines 
hold to the rest of mankind ; and to take my arguments 
only from what I may be permitted to call the common 
religiousness of nations. And as I am a colonist on a 
visit to this country, and have not here opportunities and 
facilities for a complete treatment of my theme, I shall ask 
your permission to refer to and quote a portion of my past 
labours in this field, as published in vol. xvi. of the Journal of 
the Transactions of the Eoyal Society of New South Wales. 
A * 


I have said that I mean to build my argument on the 
religious ideas and ceremonies which exist among our 
Australian aborigines, and the resemblance of these to similar 
institutions found among nations and tribes elsewhere. Now, 
of all the definitions which have been thought of as distin- 
guishing man from the rest of creation, the one that describes 
him as the "religious animal " is perhaps the best. Some will 
say that man is the mechanical, the social, the omnivorous, 
and so on. The philologist will tell us that etymology declares 
him to be the " thinker." I grant that the power of consecu- 
tive thought is a noble gift to man, but I am ready to 
deny that it is his noblest possession. The religious 
instinct, however debasing the forms which it now 
assumes, seems to me a diviner gift ; for, while it stimulates, it 
also chastens and regulates the force and direction of thought, 
and lays hold of and moulds man's inner nature in a way which 
mere intellect can never approach. I am further prepared to 
deny that religiousness is a thing of man's own invention, 
that mere thinking will ever lead a man to acts of worship, or 
that the progress and development of thought alone will bring 
him to more enlightened forms of worship. The tendency, as 
registered by history and observation, is all in the other 
direction, towards degradation, not towards elevation ; and 
if man were solely mental and emotional, his attitude in 
viewing the vastness, the energy and the multitude of the 
objects of nature around and above him would be one of 
awe and fear, not of worship. I therefore believe the 
manifestations of the religious sentiment among uncivilised 
nations such as the Australian aborigines, to be like ruins of 
an edifice, which neither they nor their ancestors ever built, 
but yet its very stones may tell something of its origin. Now, 
since man does not invent religious beliefs and practices for 
himself, we may justly argue that the presence of the same 
or similar ceremonies in nations at present widely separated 
in place indicates a common origin. The traditions of a 
great deluge, so similar everywhere, the folk-lore stories 
among so many nations, all tell the same tale, a common 
origin. And, further, it is not an unreasonable thing to say 
that, as the human race was long ago split up into four great 
divisions, which we now call the Aryan, the Shemite, the 
Turanian, and the Hamite or Ethiopian, and which became 
antagonistic and locally distinct, so the primitive religion, with 
its beliefs and practices, would tend in four diverging direc- 
tions, each portion, however, being homogeneous in itself, 
although retaining some features of resemblance to its 
brethren. Now, in speaking to yon about our aborigines, I 


have to do with the Ethiopian or black race, and if I can 
show you that the Australian beliefs are closely like those of 
the black race in other parts of the world, and yet in some 
respects similar to those of all mankind, I think I can then, 
without presumption, ask you to agree with me in saying that 
Lenormant and others must be wrong when they cut off the 
Australians from the record in the tenth chapter of Genesis, 
and thus from all connection with the sons of Noah. 

My present task, therefore, is to show that the black tribes 
of Australia are connected with the rest of mankind, and espe- 
cially with the black race in Africa. But, before I attempt to 
do so, you may consider it my duty to establish an antecedent 
probability, or, at least, possibility, that the blacks of Africa 
and the blacks of Australia are akin ; this will carry me back 
to some of the earliest periods of human history. 

The Chaldaean tablets recently deciphered speak of a dark 
race as existing in the plains of Babylonia from the earliest 
times, and along with it a light-coloured race.* This dark 
race I take to be the Kushites ; they seem to have been the 
first occupiers of these regions, and had become so powerful 
that their empire reached from the Mediterranean to the 
Ganges, and from the Indian Ocean northwards to the plateau 
of Ararat. Other races, however, came down upon them 
from Central Asia, and, like a wedge, split them in two. 
Hence the position of this race is, in Genesis x., indicated 
ethnically by the names of Gush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and 
Canaan, which, geographically, are the countries we call 
Ethiopia, and Egypt, and Nubia, and Palestine. Their dominion 
had thus been thrown much to the west of their original 
seats, and had lodged itself in Africa, now their stronghold ; 
but the other half of their old empire existed still, although 
much broken, for the later Greek tradition, in the Odyssey i., 
23, 24, speaks of an eastern as well as a western nation of 
Ethiopians. Leaving the western Kushites to increase and 
multiply, and spread themselves into Central Africa, let us 
follow the fortunes of their eastern brethren. They are the 
pure Hamites of the dispersion, and long occupied the 
northern shores of the Persian Gulf and the plains of India. 
Meanwhile, a composite empire, called on the inscriptions the 
Eiprat Arbat, "the four quarters," had formed itself in 
Lower Babylonia. This Chaldasan monarchy the first of the 
five great monarchies of ancient history was overthrown by 

* Even Cyrus, the conqueror of Babylon, found them there, for, on a 
cylinder, he speaks of "the black-headed race" as conquered and governed 
by him. 



an irruption of Arab (Shemite) tribes about 1500 B.C. And 
now, as I think, a second wave of population began to move 
towards the shores of Australia, for these Arabs were pure 
inonotheists, and in their religious zeal must have dashed to 
pieces the polytheistic and sensual fabric which the Babylonian 
conquests had upreared. Those portions of the Chaldaso- 
Babylonian people that were unable to escape from the 
dominion of the Arabs, were absorbed in the new empire. 
But the rupture of the Babylonian state and the pro- 
scription of its worship must have been so complete as 
to drive forth from their native seats many thousands of 
the people of the " four quarters or zones " and force them 
westwards into Africa or eastwards through the mountain 
passes into the table land of the Punjab and thence into the 
Gangetic plains. Here, I imagine, were already located the 
earlier and purer Hamites, but finding them to be guilty of a 
skin not exactly coloured like their own, and not understand- 
ing their language, these later Kushites of mixed extraction 
regarded them as enemies and drove them forth into the 
mountains of the Deccan, where to this hour the Dravidians, 
and Kolarians, whom I consider their representatives, are 
black-skinned and savage races. Ere long these Babylonian 
Kushites were themselves displaced and ejected from the 
Ganges valley by a fair-skinned race, the Aryans, another and 
the last ethnic stream of invaders from the north-west. These 
Aryans, in religion and habits irreconcileably opposed to 
the earlier races of India, waged on them a relentless war. 
Hemmed up in the triangle of Southern India, the Hamites 
could escape only by sea ; the later Kushites, on the other 
hand, could not seek safety in the mountains of the Deccan, 
as these were already occupied ; they must, therefore, have 
been pushed down the Ganges into Further India and the 
*Malayan peninsula ; thence to pass at a later time into Borneo 
and the Sunda Islands and Papua, and afterwards across 
the sea of Timor into Australia, or eastwards into Melanesia, 
driven onwards now by the Turanian tribes which had come 
down from Central Asia into China and the peninsula and 
the islands of the East Indies. 

Many known facts favour the view which I have thus taken 
of the successive waves of population which flowed over Indian 
soil towards Australia. I will mention two or three of these : 
(1) Ethnologists recognise two pre-Aryan races in India. 
The earlier had not attained to the use of metals, and had 
only polished flint axes and implements of stone ; the later 
had no written records, and made gravo-mounds over their 
dead. The Vedas call them "noseless," " gross feeders on 


flesh/' "raw eaters/' " not sacrificing/' "without gods/' 
" without rites." All this suits our aboriginals ; for they use 
stone axes ; in several districts they make grave-mounds ; 
the typical natives are " noseless/' for they have very flat and 
depressed noses as contrasted with the straight and promi- 
nent noses of the Vedic Aryans ; they have no gods and no 
religious rites such as the Vedas demand. (2) The Kolarian 
and Dravidian languages have inclusive and exclusive forms 
for the plural of the first person. So also have many of the 
languages of Melanesia and Polynesia. (3) The aborigines 
in the south and west of Australia use the same words for 
I, thou, we, you, as the natives of the Madras coasts of India. 

Having thus shown from history and from the migration of 
nations that the aborigines of Australia, as to their remote 
descent, may be the brothers of the negroes in Africa, I now 
proceed to my proper theme, a comparison of the religious 
ceremonies and beliefs on both continents. We cannot expect 
to find set modes of worship or a formulated creed such as 
the possession of sacred books might secure, but we shall 
rather seek for analogies in the experiences and practices of 
their social and tribal life, for it is there that ancestral beliefs 
often stamp themselves permanently ; a custom is there main- 
tained from age to age, while those who practise it know not 
what it means or whence it came. 

At present I confine myself to one tribal custom ; our black 
fellows have a ceremony called the Bora, through which the 
young men pass when admitted into the tribe. This Bora exists 
everywhere throughout Australia, and is carried out everywhere 
much in the same fashion. I therefore conclude that it belongs 
to the whole race, and is an essential attribute of its existence. 
Now, if I may trust the accuracy of Kurd's Rites and Ceremonies, 
the negroes of Upper Guinea had, seventy years ago long 
before ethnography became a science certain religious mys- 
teries singularly like those of the Bora, and I suppose they 
have them still.* These, like the Bora, are ceremonies of 

* From W. Winwood Reade's book on Savage Africa (London : Smith, 
Elder, & Co.) I learn that similar ceremonies still exist in Equatorial Africa. 
He says : " Before they are permitted to wear clothes, marry, and rank in 
society as men and women, the young have to be initiated into certain 
mysteries. I received some information on this head from Moongilomba, 
after he had made me promise that I would not put it in my book. He told me 
that he was taken into a Fetich-house, stripped, severely flogged, and plas- 
tered with goat- dung, this ceremony, like those of Masonry, being conducted 
to the sound of music. Afterwards there came from behind a kind of 
screen or shrine uncouth and terrible sounds, such as he had never heard 
before. These, he was told, emanated from a spirit called Ukuk. He after- 
wards brought to me the instrument with which the fetich-man makes this 


initiation, and not only bring a youth to a knowledge of his 
country's gods, but qualify him to commune with spirits and 
to hold civil power and authority in the state; all the un- 
initiated are to him a "profanum vulgus," who, on the least 
transgression of orders, are hurried away into the woods, 
there to be destroyed by the evil spirits which the magical 
power of the initiated can command and control. As an 
assembly of this kind is convened but four or five times in a 
century, and occupies a period of five years, only a small por- 
tion of the male population can acquire the qualification 
necessary for power in the state. The king issues, when he 
pleases, an order for the holding of this assembly. The pre- 
parations are committed to the care of those old men that are 
known to be best acquainted with the mysteries. These 
choose suitable places in the woods, and make ready there 
every appliance which can produce surprise, awe, and chilling 
fear on the minds of the novices. All women, children, and 
strangers are warned from the spot during the ceremonies, 
and the novice believes that, if he reveals any of the secrets of 
the grove, the spirits, knowing his faithlessness and profanity, 
will in some way or other bring destruction upon him. The 
country for some three or four miles around is sacred and 
inviolable, and the evil spirits will carry off those who 

The essential idea prominent in the negro ceremony of 
initiation is that of death and a new birth, a regeneration. 
Hence the catechumen before he proceeds to the groves gives 
away all his property and effects, as if about to die to the 

noise. It is a whistle made of hollowed mangrove-wood, about two inches 
in length, and covered at one end with a scrap of bat's wing. For a period 
of five days after initiation the novice wears an apron of dried palm-leaves, 
which I have frequently seen. The initiation of the girls is performed by 
elderly females, who call themselves Ngembi. They go into the forest, 
clear a space, sweep the ground carefully, come back to the town, and build 
a sacred hut, which no male may enter. They return to the clearing in the 
forest, taking with them the Igonji, or novice. It is necessary that she 
should have never been to that place before, and that she fast during the 
whole of the ceremony, which lasts three days. All this time a fire is kept 
burning in the wood. From morning to night, and from night to morning, 
a Ngembi sits beside it and feeds it, singing, with a cracked voice, ' The 
fire will never die out.' The third night is passed in the sacred hut ; the 
Igonji is rubbed with black, red, and white paints, and, as the men beat 
drums outside, she cries, ' Okanda, yo, yo, yo,' which reminds one of the 
Evohe of the ancient Bacchantes. The ceremonies performed in the hut 
and in the wood are kept secret from the men, and I can say but little 

about them During the novitiate which succeeds initiation the girls 

are taught religious dances ; the men are instructed in the science of fetich. 
It is then that they are told that there are certain kinds of food which are 
forbidden to their clan. One clan may not eat crocodile, nor another 
hippopotamus, nor a third buffalo." 


world, and on the completion of his novitiate, when he returns 
to his kindred, he pretends to forget all his past life and to 
know neither father nor mother, nor relations nor former 
friends, his is a new life ; his whole aspect is that of a 
new man, for he now carries on his head a cap made of the 
bark of a tree, he is adorned with feathers, and as a badge of 
his new rank he wears a collar of leopards' teeth round his 
neck. During the five years of his training the probationer 
is attended by some old and experienced devotees who act as 
his instructors ; they teach him the ritual of their religion, 
various songs and pieces of poetry, mostly in praise of their 
chief god, and, in particular, he learns from them a dance of 
a frenzied kind. While this course of education is proceeding, 
the king frequently visits the groves ,nd examines the can- 
didates. When their training is sufficiently advanced, they 
receive each a new name, and, as a token of their regeneration, 
several long wounds, which afterwards become permanent 
scars, are made on their neck and shoulders. They are now 
conducted to some retired place at a distance where women 
may attend them. Here, their religious education being 
already complete, they are instructed in those principles of 
morals and politics which will make them useful as members 
of the state, and fit to act as judges in civil and criminal 
causes. This done, they leave the groves and their tutors, 
and, with their new badges of perfection upon them, they 
exhibit their magical powers in public by means of a stick 
driven into the ground, with a bundle of reeds at its top, or 
they repair to the public assembly, and join in the solemn 
dances of the wise men or in the duties of civic rulers. 

The aboriginal races of India also have observances similar 
to those of the African negroes ; for I learn from a lecture 
delivered last year in this hall that, among some of the 
Dravidian tribes of Central India, " persons desiring to enter 
the priesthood are required to retire for some days to the 
jungle and commune in solitude with the deity. Before they 
are confirmed in their office, they are expected to perform 
some marvellous act as evidence of their having acquired 
superhuman power." In another tribe, the novice " retires 
" to the jungle, and there remains alone and without clothing 
for eight days, during which time he performs certain puri- 
ficatory rites. On the eighth day he returns and enters upon 
the discharge of his duties."* 

So far the negroes of Upper Guinea. I now turn to 
Australia ; and there, when a boy approaches the age of 
puberty, a feeling of restless anticipation spreads over hi$ 

* Transactions Victoria Institute, vol. xix., pp. 103, 104. 


mind, for he knows that his opening manhood has brought 
him to the threshold of ceremonies of mysterious import, 
through which he is to be formally received into the tribe 
and thereby to acquire the dignity of a man. The rites of 
initiation are important, numerous, and prolonged ; and, as 
his admission does not concern himself or his family merely, 
but the whole tribe, these observances call together large 
assemblages, and are the occasion of general rejoicing. 

This assembly, the most solemn and unique in the tribal 
life, is called the Bora. The whole proceedings are essen- 
tially the same everywhere in their general features and 
teachings, but the details vary among the different tribes. 
Therefore, instead of a separate narrative for each tribe, I will 
endeavour to present to you a full view of the Bora, taking 
one tribal mode as the basis of my description, but intro- 
ducing from the other tribes such features as appear to nie 
needed to complete the significance of the ceremonies. 

The chiefs of the tribes know that some boys are ready for 
initiation ; they accordingly summon their <f marbull," or 
public messenger, and bid him inform the sections of the 
tribe that a Bora will be held at a certain time and place, the 
time being near full moon, and the place being usually a well- 
known Bora ground ; they also send him away to invite the 
neighbouring tribes to attend; this invitation is readily 
accepted, for, although the tribes may be at variance with 
each other, universal brotherhood prevails among the blacks 
at such a time as this. The day appointed for the gathering 
is, perhaps, a week or two distant, and the intervening time is 
filled with busy preparations by the leading men of the 
novice's tribe. They select a suitable piece of ground, near 
water, if possible, and level for convenience in sitting or lying 
on ; they then form and clear of all timber, and in most cases 
even of every blade of grass, two circular enclosures, a larger 
and a smaller, about a quarter of a mile from each other, with a 
straight track connecting them * the trees that grow around 
the smaller circle they carve at about the height of a man, 
often much higher, with curious emblematical devices and 
figures ; the circuit of each ring is defined by a slight mound 
of earth laid around, and in the centre of the larger one 
they fix a short pole with a bunch of emu feathers on the top 
of it. Everything is now ready for the rites of initiation, and 
there is a large concourse ; the men stand by with their bodies 
painted in stripes of colour, chiefly red and white; the women, 

* In the Bora grounds which I have examined this path leads due east 
and west by the compass. 


who are permitted to be present at the opening ceremony only, 
are lying on the ground all round the larger ring with their 
faces covered. The boy, painted red all over (I speak of only 
one, but there are several boys initiated at once), is brought 
forward and made to lie down in the middle of it, and covered 
with an opossum rug. Such of the old men as have been 
appointed masters of the ceremonies now begin to throw him 
into a state of fear and awe by sounding an instrument called 
tirricoty, similar to what an English boy calls a " bull roarer." 
This same ' ' bull roarer " is found in Central Africa, and is 
there also used as a sacred instrument. In Australia the men 
use it on all occasions when they wish to frighten the women 
and boys, who cower with fear whenever they hear it. It 
is made of a piece of thin wood or bark ; it is about nine 
inches long, and is sometimes shaped and marked like a fish. 
The roaring sound is supposed to be the voice of a dreaded 
evil spirit who prowls about the black fellows' camp, especially 
at night, and carries off, tears and devours those he can seize. 
When the'performers think that the " boombat " (so they call 
the novice) has been sufficiently impressed, tirricoty ceases to 
speak ; thev then raise the boy from the ground and set hirn 
in the ring, so that his face is turned towards the cleared track 
which leads to the circle of imagery ; then an old man comes 
forward, breathes strongly in his face, and makes him cast his 
eyes upon the ground, for in this humble attitude he must 
continue for some days. 

Two other old men next take the boy by the arms and lead 
him along the track, and set him in the middle of the other 
enclosure. As soon as this is done, the women rise from 
their prostrate position and begin to dance and sing. The 
Murring tribe, on our S.B. coast, place along this track or 
path figures moulded in earth of various animals (the totems], 
and one of Daramulum, a spii'it god whom they fear. Before 
each of these figures the devotees have a dance, and a 
" Koradjie " (that is, doctor or medicine man) brings up out 
of his inside by his mouth, the "jo-e-a" or magic of the 
totem before which he stands ; for the porcupine he shows 
stuff like chalk, for the kangaroo stuff like glass, and so on. 
Meanwhile the boy has been sitting in the smaller circle with 
downcast eyes ; he is told to rise, and is led in succession to 
each of the carved trees around it, and is made to look up for 
a moment at the carvings on them, and while he does so the 
old men raise a shout.* When he has come to know all the 

* A fire is kept constantly burning in the centre of this ring ; with this 
compare the Vestal fire at Rome. The boy is made to lie within the ring prone 

10 JOHN FRA8ER, B.A., LL.D. 

carvings sufficiently, the men give him a new name, which 
must not be revealed to the uninitiated, and they hand to him 
a little bag containing one or more small stones of crystal 
quartz ; this bag he will always carry about his person, and 
the stones must not be shown to the uninitiated on pain of 
death. This concludes the first part of the performance. 

The " boombat " is next conveyed, blindfolded, to a large 
camp at a distance of several miles, no woman being near, and 
food is given to him, which he eats still with his eyes cast 
down ; here they keep him for eight or ten days, and teach 
him their tribal lore by showing him their dances and their 
songs ; these he learns, especially one song of which I can 
tell nothing further than that it is important for the boy to 
know it. These songs, they say, were given them by Baiamai, 
the great Creator. At night, during this period, the " boom- 
bat " is set by himself in secluded and darksome places, and 
all around the men make hideous noises, at which he musfc 
not betray the least sign of fear. At some part of the cere- 
mony a sacred wand is shown him ; of this Ridley says : 
" This old man, Billy, told me, as a great favour, what other 
blacks had withheld as ;i. mystery too sacred to be disclosed to 
a white man, that " dhurumbuluin/' a stick or wand, is exhi- 
bited at the Bora, and that the sight of it inspires the initiated 
with manhood. This sacred wand was the gift of Baiamai. 
The ground on which the Bora is celebrated is Baiamai's 
ground. Billy believes the Bora will be kept up always all 
over the country ; such was the command of Baiamai/' 

Another conspicuous part of the inner Bora customs is the 
knocking out of one of the upper front teeth of the " boom- 
bat." The tooth is then conveyed from one sub-tribe to 
another until it has made the circuit of the whole tribe ; on its 
return it is given to the owner or kept by the head man. It 
is said that an ancient shield (cf. the sacred Ancilia of Rome,) 
handed down from past ages,, and regarded as almost equal 
to Daramulum himself, accompanied the tooth. This tooth- 
breaking, however, is not practised by some of the larger 
tribes ; but instead of it there is circumcision, cutting of the 
hair, &c. 

on the ground for weeks, it may be, getting only a very little food and water 
now and then. When he wishes to go outside, the old men carry him over 
the circle-mound. With this compare the sacredness of the pomcerium cir- 
cuit of ancient Rome. One black boy told me that when he was initiated, 
he joined the Bora in the month of August, and did not get away till about 
Christmas. When the blacks in charge of the sacred circle at last bade 
him rise from his recumbent position, he said he was so weak that he 
staggered and fell. 


All these formalities being now completed, the boombat's 
probation is at an end. They now proceed, all of them 
together, to some large water-hole, and jumping in, men and 
boys, they wash off the colouring matter from their bodies, 
amid much glee, and noise, and merriment, and, when they 
have come out of the water, they paint themselves 

Meanwhile, the women, who have been called to resume their 
attendance, have kindled a large fire not far off, and are lying 
around it, with their faces covered as at thefirst; the twoold men, 
who were the original initiators, bring the boy at a run towards 
the fire, followed by all the others, with voices indeed silent, 
but making a noise by beating their boomerangs together ; 
the men join hands and form a ring round the fire, and one old 
man runs round the inside of the ring beating a heelaman or 
shield. A woman, usually the boy's own mother, then steps 
within the ring, and, catching him under the arms, lifts him 
from the ground once, sets him down, and then retires ; 
everybody, the boy included, now jumps upon the decaying 
red embers, until the fire is extinguished. 

Thus ends the Bora; the youth is now a man, for his initia- 
tion and his instruction are over. But, although these are 
formalities observed in admitting a youth into the tribe, yet 
in the Bora, as in freemasonry, the novice does not become 
a full member all at once, but must pass through several grades, 
and these are obtained by attending a certain number of 
Boras ; here also, as in Africa, restrictions as to food are 
imposed, which are relaxed from time to time, until at last 
the youth is permitted to eat anything he may find ; thus 
the process of qualifying for full membership may extend 
over two or three years. Then he becomes an acknowledged 
member of the tribe, undertakes all the duties of membership, 
and has a right to all its privileges. 

I have thus finished my description of the Bora ceremonies, 
and, as a sort of introduction to that description, I gave at the 
outset a condensed account of similar observances both in 
Africa and in India. 

Now, when I cast my eye over the Bora and its regulated 
forms, I feel myself constrained to ask, " What does all this 
mean ? " I, for one, cannot believe that the Bora, with all its 
solemnities (for the rites were sacred, and the initiated were 
bound not to divulge what they had seen and done), is a 
meaningless, self-developed thing ; still less that the same 
thing can have developed spontaneously in Australia and 
in farthest Africa ; I prefer to see in it a symbolism covering 1 
ancestral beliefs a symbolism intelligible enough to the 


Kushite race at first, but now little understood, but yet 
superstitiously observed, by their Australian descendants. 

Accordingly I now proceed to what I regard as the roost 
important part of this inquiry, for I shall attempt to show 
that in many respects the Bora corresponds with the reli- 
gious beliefs and practices of the ancient world. If we 
can prove that the germ ideas which underlie the Australian 
Bora as it has always been celebrated among the aborigines 
are the same as those in many religions of antiquity, and that 
these same ideas present themselves in ceremonies of similar 
import among nations now widely separated in place, I think 
we have established a strong presumption that there is a 
common source from which all these things have sprung, 
and that there is a community of origin on which this com- 
munity of belief is founded. 

And here I wish to enlist the sympathy and assistance of 
this intelligent audience. There are among you many who 
have a full and accurate knowledge of the religious systems of 
Africa and India, and who can therefore give valuable aid in 
tracing analogies sufficient to build up my argument to the 
dimensions of substantial proof. I ask these gentlemen to 
assist me, either now by oral remarks, or afterwards in any 
form which they may prefer. My present theme is a small 
contribution to an argument for the unity of the human race 
as to its origin, and while I work in the Australian field, 
which is as yet little known, I shall gratefully receive any 
help which may come from fields that have been long 

I now offer to you such analogies as my limited knowledge 
permits me to refer to : 

(A.) In the Bora there are two circles, the one is less 
sacred, fqr the women may be present there, although only on 
the outskirts; in it certain preparatory things are done in 
order to bring the " booinbat's " mind into a fit state of 
reverential awe for the reception of the teaching in the other 
circle, the adytum, the penetralia, where the images of the 
gods are to be seen ; the women and the uninitiated must noi, 
approach this inner circle, for it is thrice holy ; " Procul este. 

(a.) In the earliest religions, the circle is the invariable 
symbol of the sun the bright and pure one, from whose 
presence darkness and every evil thing must flee away. Thus 
we have the disc as the symbol of the sun-god in Egypt, 
Chaldsea, Assyria, Persia, India, China. This fact is so well 
known that it is needless to multiply examples. Those who 
are within the circle are safe from the powers of evil. The 


sacredness of the circle in those early ages is seen from the 
Chaldaean name (Genesis xxxi. 47), " the circle of witness " 
a name given to a solemn compact of friendship witnessed by 
that celestial orb which looks down on and observes all the 
deeds of men. In Persia, to this day, in the southern parts of 
it, which were originally inhabited by a Hamite race of an 
almost purely negroid type, there are to be seen on the road- 
sides large circles of stones which the tradition of the country 
regards as set there by the Caous, a race of giants, that is, of 
aboriginals. Their name closely resembles the name Kush, 
as does also Cutch at the north of the Indus, and other 
geographical names along the Arabian seas. Then in the 
classic nations, both in Greece and Italy, some of the most 
famous temples were circular in form, especially the Pantheon 
at Athens ; and, at Rome, the temple of Vesta, the goddess of 
the sun-given, eternal fire. At Rome also, for 100 years from 
the foundation of the city, the worship of the gods was cele- 
brated in the open air (</. the Bora), often in sacred groves ; 
and there also the temple of Janus, the oldest and most vene- 
rated of the Roman gods, was merely a sacred enclosure upon 
which no building stood till the time of the First Punic War. 
The pomcerium, or circuit of the walls of Rome, was a sacred 
ring, and the Circus was consecrated to the sun, and was open 
to the sky. In Britain, too, the fire worship of the Druids led 
them to construct ring temples in various places, and especially 
at Stonehenge, where there are two rings as in the Bora, but 
concentric. Even the rude Laplanders, who are sprung from 
the same Turanian race which was one of the earliest elements 
in the population of Babylonia, make two circles when they 
sacrifice to the sun, and surround them with willows; they 
also draw a white thread through the ear of the animal to be 
sacrificed, and white, as we shall presently see, is the sun's 

(B.) In the Bora, the two rings, both of them sacred, 
communicate with each other by means of a narrow passage, 
in which are earthen representations of certain objects of 
worship; the inner contains the images or symbols of the gods 
carved on trees, and the novice is so placed in the outer ring 
that he faces the passage and the shrine of the gods; he is 
turned to the east (see note, the eighth page of this paper) . 

(b.) The inner shrine is an arrangement common to all 
religions. At Babylon in the temple of Belus, which was 
built in stages, the worshipper had to pass through these 
seven stages of Sabaeism befbi'e he reached the shrine ; this 
was the topmost of all, and contained a golden image of the 
god ; each of these stages was devoted to the worship of one 


of the Babylonian gods. So also, in the Bora, the worshipper 
advances by stages along the passage leading from the one 
circle to the other, and pays his devotions to each of the 
images in succession. In Greece and in Rome the roofed 
temples were commonly arranged in two parts, an inner and 
an outer, and the statue of the god was so placed that a 
worshipper, entering by the external door, saw it right before 
him. At the very ancient temple of Dodonaoan Zeus, in 
Greece, the god was supposed to reside in an oak tree, and 
it is quite possible that the Xoanon, or wooden image of the 
god, was here, as in other grove worship, merely a carved piece 
of oak as in the Bora. In this sense Festus gives Fustis 
decorticatus as an equivalent for delubrum. The student of 
Biblical archasology will also remember the Asherah of the 
Israelite idolaters, the consort of the sun-god Baal ; this was a 
wooden pillar or statue of the goddess which could be cut 
down and burned. Such a pillar our black fellows also have 
been known to erect; for on one occasion several men of a tribe 
which is well known to me were seen to cut down a soft cedar 
tree; they dressed it with their hatchets, and cut the end of it 
into the rude figure of a head and face ; they then carried it some 
distance down the river to a sandy spot, and, setting it up there 
like a pillar, they danced in a circle around it. This was 
certainly an act of worship, the same as many other acts of 
worship in the heathen world. Was it merely a happy thought 
on the part of these black fellows, or undesigned coincidence, 
which led them to do so; or was it a portion of an ancestral 
form of worship brought from other lands ? 

(C.) In the Bora, the novice in the outer circle has his body 
all painted over with red, but at the close of his novitiate he 
washes in a pool, is thereby cleansed, and then paints himself 
all white. The other members of the tribe paint themselves 
red and white for the ceremony; they, too, at the close, wash 
in the pool and retire white like the " boombat." This trans- 
formation is to them a source of much rejoicing. 

(c.) Among the black races the colour red was the symbol 
of evil ; and so Plutarch tells us that the Egyptians sacrificed 
only red bullocks to Typhon, and that the animal was reckoned 
unfit for this sacrifice if a single white or black hair could be 
found on it ; in certain of their festivals the . Egyptians 
assailed with insults and revilings any among them who 
happened to have red hair, and the people of Coptos had a 
custom of throwing an ass down a precipice because of its 
red colour. The god Typhon was to the Egyptians the 
embodied cause of everything evil, malignant, destructive, 
man-hating in the economy of nature, just as Osiris, the bright 


and beneficent sun, was an emblem of all that was good. In 
the Levitical economy, the red heifer was a sin-offering for 
the Israelites, probably with some reference to the Egyptian 
ideas about this colour. In India, Ganesa, the lord of all 
mischievous and malignant spirits, is symbolised by red stones, 
and the Cingalese, when they are sick, offer a red cock to the 
evil spirit that has caused the sickness. The blacks of Congo 
wash and anoint a corpse and then paint it red, and their 
black brethren of Madagascar, when they are celebrating the 
rite of circumcision, never wear anything red about them lest 
the child should bleed to death. The negroes of Upper 
Guinea, far enough removed from Australian Boras to prevent 
even a suspicion of borrowing, make a similar use of the colours 
red and white ; for in Benin, when a woman is first initiated 
into the rites which the Babylonians sanctioned in honour of 
their goddess Mulitta, she seats herself on a mat in a public 
place, and covers her head, shoulders, and arms with the blood 
of a fowl ; she then retires for her devotions, and, these 
being finished, she washes herself, returns, and is rubbed 
all over with white chalk where the blood had been. The 
young ladies of Congo, also a black country, have a similar 
custom, but they besmear their faces and necks with red 

In Australia, those who pass through the Bora paint them- 
selves white at its close. Everywhere in Australia there is 
the belief that the black man when he is dead and buried 
still lives, but he is then white ; the aborigines say " black 
fellow jumps up a white fellow ; " hence their name for white 
man is " wunda," a word which originally described only the 
black man in his spirit state after death. The father of a 
friend of mine was the first white man to enter, some fifty 
years ago, the territory of a black tribe near to where I lived ; 
it so happened that the tribe had just lost their chief by death, 
and, as the white man whom they saw coming over the crest 
of the hill towards their camp bore some physical resemblance 
to the deceased, they soon got to hail him as their chief in the 
" wunda " state, and to this hour they claim that white man's 
son as one of themselves, a brother ! 

Now, in the ancient rituals, white was the colour sacred to 
the sun, the benign god, before whom darkness flies away. 
In India, white agates represent Siva, the eternal cause of 
all blessings ; in Persia, white horses were sacred to the sun ; 
in Celtic Britain, some of the Welsh people even now whiten 
their houses to keep away devils; and so with many other 

In these senses the " boombat " enters the Bora with the 


brand of Typlion upon him, exposed to all evil influences, 
to disease and death from'animals, men, and spirits; but after 
lie has made the acquaintance of his fathers' gods, and has 
learned the sacred songs and dances of his tribe, he comes 
forth another man ; he washes away the badge of darkness 
and evil, and assumes the livery of the children of light. 
The other men, whose mottled colour is a confession of 
mingled good and evil in their lives, also emerge new men 
once more, purified and devoted anew to the service of the 
good, and freed from the power of the evil. 

This felt subjection to unseen evil and aspiration for deli- 
verance from it in the minds of our native races, is not only 
natural to man everywhere, but was a marked feature in the 
whole system of Akkadian magic ; for these old Chaldasans 
believed that innumerable spirits, each with a personality, 
were distributed throughout nature, sometimes in union with 
animate objects, sometimes separately. Existing everywhere, 
they had each both an evil and a good aspect, at one time 
favourable, at another unfavourable, controlling both life and 
death, regulating all the phenomena, beneficial or destruc- 
tive, of air, earth, fire, or water. A dual spirit, bad and good, 
was attached to each of the celestial bodies, and each living 
being; a constant warfare existed and was keenly maintained 
between the bad and the good, and, according as the one 
principle or the other held sway, so did blessings or disasters 
descend upon nature and upon man. Hence the value of 
religious rites, such as the Bora; for the due observance of 
these, repeated from time to time, gave for a while, at least, 
the victory to the good spirits, and brought blessings to the 
faithful. Thus, then, I explain the red colour of the novice at 
the Bora ; the red and white of the celebrants, and the white 
colour of the whole when the service was completed. 

(D.) Ridley says that the Bora is Baiamai's ground. He 
adds : " Baiamai sees all ; he knows all, if not directly, yet 
through Turramulan, a subordinate deity. Turramulan is 
mediator for all the operations of Baiamai to man, and from man 
to Baiamai." " Women must not see Turramulan on pain of 
death. And even when mention is made of Turramulan, or of 
the Bora at which he presides, the women slink away, know- 
ing that it is unlawful for them so much as to hear anything 
about such matters." 

(d.) We have seen that in some places an image of 
Daramulun is set up at the Bora. In another place, the 
bull-roaring instrument, whose voice begins the ceremony of 
the Bora and warns the women not to look, is called tirricoty, 
and is sometimes made in the shape of a fish; the magic 


wand that Kidley mentions is called dhurumlulum ; and the 
great ancestral Bora ground of the Karailaroi tribe in New 
South Wales is at Tirri-hai-hai. In Victoria this same 
roaring instrument is called turndnn, which I think should 
be written dhurrum-dun. All these names are identical, and 
only modifications of dara-mulun; thus, with a slight alteration 
of the spelling, we have turra-mu\-un <?itrra-m-dun, durru-ra.- 
bulun, tirri-coty, fo'm'-hai-hai. The root of all these forms 
I take to be dara, dar, Sanskrit dri, meaning to protect, a root 
found in all the great branches of human speech, and furnish- 
ing derivatives which mean " a prince," ' ( a governor/' 
" a lord," " a supreme ruler." I therefore take Daramulun 
to mean something like "Lord of the mysteries," for it is 
evident that he presides at the Bora, and is the source of 
the blessings therein communicated. The use of a fish- 
shaped roarer to indicate his presence leads me to com- 
pare him with the Chaldeean god, Hoa, Hea, half man, 
half fish, who, in the Chaldaeo-Babylonian religion, was 
reverenced as the revealer of all religious and social 
knowledge. His abode was the sea, the Persian Gulf, where he 
passed the night, but by day he remained among men to instruct 
them; thus he became a legislator and protector. Hea, as a god, 
"seesthat all is in order," and, being acquainted with all sciences, 
he can baffle the powers of evil by his magic arts. With this 
I compare the "magic" shown by the Koradjie in the Bora 
in the presence of Daramulun's image. The Akkadians, and 
from them the Babylonians, invoked the aid of Hea, when 
spells and enchantments were found unavailing against the 
power of demons. So in the Bora passage, when Daramulun 
had been duly honoured and magic influence conjured up for 
the driving away of all adverse spirits, the lad is taken into 
the inner circle and sees the gods of his fathers, and learns to 
know them and their attributes, just as in the greater Eleusini:>, 
of Greece the duly qualified were, after a course of previous 
preparation, led into the inner sanctuary in the darkness of 
night, and there, by a dim light, allowed to see and know the 
holy things. 

(E.) The next step in the process of initiation is interest- 
ing: (1) a sacred wand is shown to the "boombat :" (2) he 
gets a new name ; and (3) certain white stones are given to 

(e.) (1) The wand. In this there is the notion of consecra- 
tion and sacredness ; for, on the Egyptian monuments, the 
deities are constantly represented as holding in one hand a 
long rod or wand, with a crook on the upper end of ifc. The 
king also, and some of the higher officers of state, carry this 


" crook." In India we find that Yama, the regent of the South, 
has a name from a sacred staff or rod, and some religious 
impostors wear as badges of sanctity a " staff " and a deer's 
skin. The Magi of Persia carried the or barsom, a 
divining wand as one of the badges of their ministry and the 
magicians of Egypt similarly had rods in their hands when 
they stood in the presence of Pharaoh. The traditions of 
Peru speak of a sacred golden wand borne by the son and 
daughter of the Sun. These are analogies ; but the nearest 
approach to the use of the wand in the Bora is, I think, to bo 
found in the Finnish Kalevala, where there is a reference to 
a " celebrated wand " (evidently as in Peru a sun wand) which 
protects its possessor from all spells and enchantments ; even the 
gods are glad to use it against the powers of evil. (2) A new 
name. Having now acquired a knowledge of sacred things, 
the initiated is henceforth anew man, he is "twice born/' 
and like his kinsman in Upper Guinea, already described, he 
will come out to the world in a new character, renouncing his 
former state. In India, a youth becomes one of the " twice 
born," by investiture with the sacred cord, receiving thus 
a spii'itual birth ; thereafter, like our "boombat," he passes 
into the hands of religious preceptors, who teach him the sacred 
prayers, mystic words, and devotional ceremonies. In more 
modern times, when a monastic house or a nunnery receives, 
from the world without, one more recluse, a new name is 
given by which he or she may thenceforward be known in 
religion. The underlying idea in all these instances is that a 
religious profession gives one a new character and a new 
relation to the rest of the world. And who will deny that this 
is true, whether the professor be black or white ? (3) The 
white stones. I am inclined to think that the "boombat" 
receives only one of these at a time, and that the number of 
them increases according to the number of Boras he attends 
until he becomes a full and accepted master of the craft. In 
any case they are used as talismans, and are carried in the belt 
during the whole of the man's life. They are merely small 
pieces of quartz crystals, but are so sacred that they must not 
be shown to the women.* The negroes of Guinea use small 
stones as fetishes, which they carry about their necks or under 
their armpits. These the priests sell after a formal con- 
secration. The white colour is a sun colour. It is beneficent 

"' Maori is the name for the white crystals. A Koradjie, in the presence 
of a friend of mine, swallowed three or four small ones, saying, " That fellow 
stick there." He believed that the crystals would give him more power as 
a medicine-man. 


and preservative against evil, as already shown ; hence the 
Hindoos dedicate white stones to Siva, the eternally blessed 

Under this head I venture to refer to the promise given to 
the Church in Pergainos (Revelation ii. 1 7) in these words : 
" I will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name 
written which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it." 
On this passage commentators have given the most diverse 
opinions in explanation of the white stone and the new name. 
The very diversity of their opinions leads me to think that in 
this passage there is a reference to some heathen and idolatrous 
rites well known to the Pergamenes, part, it may be, of tho 
religion of their ancestors, as in the Bora ceremonies; for in the 
Bora there is the white stone and the new name which must 
not be divulged. I cannot stay to examine this curious 
analogy, but I think that some light might be got to illustrate 
the passage if one were to explore the source of the early 
population of Pergamos and its forms of worship. It will 
probably be found that both were in some way Chaldean, and 
that the worship was very sensual and degrading, such as was 
the worship of Mulitta in Babylon. This would explain how 
it is that in the message to the Church in Pergamos the expres- 
sion occurs, " I know where thou dwellest, even where Satan's 
throne is"; and again, "Among you where Satan chvelleth," 
the city being thus twice in one short message described as a 
stronghold of Satan; it would also explain the reference to 
"fornication," and "things sacrificed to idols," and "the 
teaching of Balaam." If I were for a moment to assume the 
garb of a commentator, I would paraphrase the promise to 
the Pergamene Church somewhat in this manner : "To him 
that overcometh, that is, to him that rises above the abound- 
ing evil and remains faithful in his new profession, will I 
give .... a white stone, a pledge of purity and a safeguard 
against the wicked practices so common among you where 
Satan dwelleth, and a new name to show that he has put off 
his former state of slavery to sin, and has become a new man 
in the service of a new master, who is pure, and holy, and 

(F.) The initiated lad is next led to a camp at a distance ; 
he is kept there for eight or ten days receiving instruction, 
specially in songs and dances; he also eats here, and his 
confidence in divine protection is tested by hideous noises 
during the darkness of the night. 

(/.) It is rather singular, as a coincidence, that Festus 
speaks of Roman ceremonies as lasting ten days, and that 
the Dionysia and the greater Eleusinia of Greece also lasted 
B 2 


nine or ten days, and that part of them was a solemn meal 
and a solemn bathing, or purification by water; thereafter 
instruction was given. So, also, a young Brahman must 
reside with his preceptor for some time, until he has gained 
a thorough knowledge of the holy books; he must pass 
through certain purificatory rites, which remove the taint of 
former sin ; one of these is the cutting off of the hair, and 
with this seems to correspond the knocking out of a front 
tooth practised by some of our tribes in Australia.* The 
singing and the dancing are everywhere essential parts of 
the heathen worship, and the dance is in its origin religious. 

(G.) Then come the washing and the purification which 
I have just spoken of, but after that they join hands 
all round, dance round the fire, and then jump into it and 
through it. 

(g.) Analogies to this purification and protection by fire 
are abundant. In Bretagne, at this hour, the farmers protect 
their horses from evil influences by the service of fire. They 
kindle fires at nightfall ; then, at dawn of day, the horses are 
led thrice round the fires, and a particular prayer, known only 
to a few, is said before the dying flame ; as the last words are 
pronounced, they all leap on the embers with their feet joined. 
The ancient British Kelts, to which stock the modern Bretons 
belong, did much the same thing. On May Day the Druids 
used to light large fires on the summits of the highest hills, 
into which they drove their four-footed beasts, using certain 
ceremonies to expiate the sins of the people. Until very 
lately, in different parts of Ireland, it was the common 
practice to kindle fires in milking yards on the first day of 
May, and then many women and children leaped through 
them, and the cattle were driven through in order to avert 
evil influences. In ancient Rome, on the feast of Pales, in 
April, the same forms of purification and dedication were 
observed. The Hottentots of the present day retain the old 
customs, for they make their cattle pass through the fire as a 
preservative against the attacks of wild dogs. In India, the 
youth, when about to be invested with the sacred thread, 
stands opposite the sun and walks thrice round the fire, and 
in the marriage ceremony the bride is led thrice round the 
sacred fire. An incantation used by the oldest Chaldaean 
sourcerers has these words : " May the god Fire, the hero, 
dispel their enchantments or spells for the injury of others/' 
An Australian gin, going to the river to fetch water after 
nightfall, carries for protection a burning stick ; and the men 

* In some parts of Australia the hair is cut off or singed off in the Bora. 


in the camp, when they think an evil spirit is near, throw 
firebrands at him to drive him away. We may not wonder, 
then, that our Australian black fellows, if, as I believe, their 
ancestors came from Babylonian lands, have not forgotten 
the fire observances, and still trust in the protection of the 

So far the Bora and its analogies. I have thus considered 
at some length the institution of the Bora, both because it is 
the most important of all the social regulations of our 
aboriginal tribes, and because its universal distribution among 
them, although with slight local differences in the manner of 
its celebration, seems to me a strong proof that our black 
tribes are all brethren of the same race, and that they are of 
the same common origin as the rest of mankind, their nearest 
kin being the blacks of Africa. Is it possible that so many 
tribes, differing in language and confined by their laws and 
habits each to its own hunting ground, should have evolved 
from their own consciousness ceremonies so similar, and 
which, when examined, correspond in so many points with the 
religiousness of the ancient world ? How is it that the blacks 
of Australia and the blacks of Guinea have similar ceremonies 
of initiation ? Is it not because they have come from the 
same ethnic source and have a common ancestry and common 
traditions ? 

And now to complete the task which I proposed to myself, 
I would add a few words of aboriginal mythology, as another 
point in the argument for the unity of the human family. 

Our native races are attentive observers of the stars ; as 
they sit or lie around the camp fire after nightfall, their gaze 
naturally turns to the starry vault above, and there they see 
the likenesses of many things with which they are conversant 
in their daily life ; young men dancing a corroboree (Orion) 
and a group of damsels looking at them (the Pleiades) making 
music to their dance ; the opossum, the emu, the crow, and 
so on. But the old men say that the regions " above the 
sky " are the home of the spirits of the dead, and that there 
are fig-trees there, and many other pleasant things, and that 
the head of them is a great man Miimy ; he is not visible, but 
they all agree that he is in the sky. A greater than he is 
the great Garabooung, who, while in earth, was always 
attended by a small man, but now the two shine as comrades 
in the sky the " Heavenly Twins." Both Garabooung and 
Minny are " skeletons." In his mortal state, Garabooung was 
a man of great rank and power ; he was so tall that his feet 
could touch the bottom of the deepest rivers j his only food 
was snakes and eels, One day, not. being hungry, he buried 


a snake and an eel ; when lie came back to eat them he saw 
lire issuing from the ground where they were ; he was warned 
by his companion, the little man, not to approach, but he 
declared he did not fear, and boldly came near; then a 
whirlwind seized them and carried them up " above the sky," 
where he and his companion still are, and " can be seen any 
starlit night." 

These fr\vo legends are interesting. Minny is to them the 
father and king of the black races, whom he now rules and 
will rule in spirit-laud ; he was once a mortal, but now he is 
a " skeleton " a spiritualised being without flesh and blood ; 
and so our black fellows retain the simple primitive beliefs of 
mankind ; they have heard nothing of annihilation or absorp- 
tion into the infinite. I observe also that the name of their 
great father is the same as that given on the hieroglyphic 
inscriptions to the first king of Egypt, Menee by Herodotus 
called Menes the head of the First Dynasty of mortals. He 
was a public benefactor, for he executed several important 
works, and taught his people the worship of Phtah, the great 
artificer-god of Egypt. He must have some mythical relation 
to the human race, for in Greece he is Minos, king of Crete, 
' ' Minoia regna," author of many useful laws, and afterwards 
a judge of the shades of the dead ; in another part of Greece 
he is Minyas, the founder of a race of heroes ; in India he is 
Menu, and in Old Germany Mannus ; for I take all these to 
be the same name. 

The story of Garabooung seems to correspond with that of 
the Dioscouroi Castor and Pollux who were also mighty 
heroes and benefactors of mankind. The ancient Germans 
worshipped them in a sacred grove, and called them Alcis. 

How have our black fellows got hold of the name Minny, and 
such a myth about him ? Were the name and the myth in- 
vented by them ? Are they not rather a survival derived 
from a common origin of traditions which belong to the 
once undivided human family ? 

In conclusion, let any one ask me how it is that our 
aborigines, if they are of such an origin as I assign to them, 
have sunk so low in the scale of humanity as to be regarded 
among the most degraded of the races of men. I deny that 
this estimate of them is well founded ; on the contrary, I 
assert that it was formed long ago by those who imperfectly 
understood the habits and social organisation of our native 
tribes, and has been ignorantly passed from mouth to mouth 
ever since ; that, when they are thoroughly understood, our 
black fellows are not the despicable savages that they are too 
often represented to be. They have, or had, virtues whieh 


we might profitably imitate ; for they are faithful and affec- 
tionate to those who treat them kindly ; they have rules of 
family morality which are enforced by severe penalties ; 
they show the greatest respect to age ; they carefully tend 
and never desert the sick and infirm; their boys are compelled 
to content themselves with meagre fare, and to bring the best 
of the food which they have found and present it to the aged 
members of the tribe and to those who have large families. 
1 am assured by one who has had much intercourse with them 
for thirty years that he never knew them to tell a lie, and 
that his property was always safe in their hands ; another 
who has been familiar with them since he was a child says : 
" Naturally they are an affectionate, peaceful people, and, 
considering that they have never been taught to know right 
from wrong, their behaviour is wonderful ; I leave my house 
open, the camp close bv, and feel the greatest confidence in 

Then, again, although the material civilisation of the world 
was commenced by the race of Ham, yet the task soon fell 
from their hands, for morally they were unfit for it ; for the 
conservation and first dissemination of a pure and ennobling 
religion we are indebted to the race of Shem ; while the sons 
of Japheth have gone forth to rule the earth and the sea 
"audax lapeti genus" and to spread abroad the blessings 
of good government and the arts and inventions of an 
enlightened age to the remotest lands. The Harnites, on the 
other hand, have continued to sink in the social scale, have 
been persecuted and oppressed by the other races and thus 
debased ; and whenever, as in Australia, the sky above and 
the earth beneath have conspired to render the means of life 
to them meagre and precarious, there the process of decay 
has been accelerated, and physically their condition has been 
very low ; but still, among their social institutions, we have 
this evening, I trust, seen traces of their having once enjoyed 
a better state of things. Would that we had a full record of 
what they really are before they pass entirely away from 
among us ! 

THE CHAIRMAN (D, Howard, Esq., !\C.S., &C;)- - I am sure that 
all present would have been glad if the author of the paper could 
have been here to receive our thanks for the very interesting and 
valuable information lie lias been the means of placing 1 before us 011 


a subject of so much importance. Such records as these of what 
is to be learned of the far distant races of the world are indeed 
of great value. It is true that the idea has gained ground, 
in not few quarters, that the aborigines of Australia are so 
utterly degraded and so devoid of the ordinary distinguishing 
marks of humanity that they can hardly be said to be men at all, 
or, at any rate, men of the same species as ourselves. But the 
testimony we have had to-night from one who has long lived 
among them, and who, therefore, speaks of his own knowledge, is 
extremely valuable, inasmuch as it presents a very different view, 
and makes it clear that those who take the trouble to become 
acquainted with these races, and by treating them with kindness 
come to know them intimately, are able to tell a very different story 
from that which is told by those who have only come in contact 
with them to tyrannise over and ill-treat them. It has been 
frequently and boldly stated that the aborigines of Australia have 
no religious customs. I am afraid that a great many ignorant 
people are too apt to be shy of making their religion public, so 
that others may conclude they have none at all ; why, there- 
fore, should we suppose that the habit of reticence which 
induces so many to keep their religious feelings in the back- 
ground is not to be met with in other races than our own ? Is it 
not a rule that, what men care most about, they talk least about, 
especially before strangers ? And, if this be so, ought we not, when 
we find it stated that such and such a race is entirely devoid of any 
religious feeling or sentiment, to assume that the assertion is 
made from want of knowledge, and that in all probability the 
contrary is the fact. We know it is being brought out more- 
and more clearly that the negro race, whose fetish worship we- 
have heard so much about, know nothing about fetish worship, 
such as is frequently described ; and. therefore, if most of the 
.statements that have been made about them are unreliable, 
so also may be those that have been put forward with regard 
to the Australian aborigines, whose very remarkable religious 
customs have been traced out by the author of this paper, as well 
as the extraordinary connexion that exists between their religious 
customs and those practised by the black race in Africa. It is, 
consequently, for those who say that these natives of Australia are 
not of the same race or nature as our own, to explain how the 
religious ideas, of which we have now heard, can have sprung tip 
independently, especially the idea of that dim, shadowy kind of 


regeneration, or second life, which would seem to be a part of their 
religious system. It is very interesting to trace the customs that 
are so strongly developed in this, ethnologically, out-of-the-way 
corner of the earth, and to find expressed, in the manner related 
by the author of the paper, the idea of the mysteries of 
initiation, as well as other ideas that have been rendered familiar 
to us through the classical literature which describes the Eleusinian 
and other mysteries, derived no doubt from Egypt, which were 
from a Hamite source; and these we find, in almost every feature 
of the familiar type, developed in the far-away portion of the earth 
with which we have been dealing. I hope that those present who 
may have something to say on this subject will now give us the 
benefit of their views. 

Rev. F. A. WALKER, D.D., F.L.S. On page 13 it is stated that " the 
pomccrium, or circuit of the walls of Rome, was a sacred ring, and 
the circus was consecrated to the sun and was open to the sky." 
I should like to say that there is much in the nature of a counter- 
part of this, on a small scale, still extant in the ruins of Ephesus. 
There is a circular platform evidently, at one time, part of the shrine 
of the sun, and having a circular base ; in the middle there is the 
corolla of a flower and around it the remains of what would exactly 
have resembled the petals of the sunflower. It is not part of the 
circus, and it may be as well to mention that it is very near the 
stadium or racecourse which still exists there. 

A VISITOR. I have lived for a Avhile in Australia, and as regards 
the native belief in a God I may state that I have, in the course 
of my travels, come across a great many cases in which men of the 
very lowest type have shown that they all had some idea of religious 
worship, and my conclusion is that the reason for this is to be found 
in the fact that God has put into their minds faculties which compel 
them, as a matter of necessity, of absolute necessity, to worship 
Him, and the more we analyse the minds of men the more, I think, 
shall we be inclined to come to this conclusion. 

Rev. H. WALKER-TAYLOR. As an Australian clergyman I 
venture to say just a few words on what the writer of the 
paper has brought before us. I am sure we are all very 
much indebted to the author for having dealt so ably with 
a subject which, in many of its aspects, is comparatively 
unknown. I certainly do object to the idea that has been 
getting abroad for many years that the aborigines of Australia are a 
degraded people. Any one coming in contact with them, and 


knowing tlicir religious traditions, must see that those traditions 
are based on something more ancient and something which shows 
that they hold the idea of a spiritual being, and that they look on 
the curious life of this world as a life of work and thought, having 
relation towards a life of action and thought to come. One 
who knows a great deal of Australia and the Australians, says that 
the ordinary idea of omnipotence, goodness, and eternity is distinctly 
characterised in the religious ideas of the Australian natives. As 
to the proposition which has been advanced that these people came 
from India, there would appear to be good grounds for that supposi- 
tion, as shown by certain similarities of phrases and the resem- 
blances which point to a migration through New Guinea, the people 
who established themselves in the northern part of Australia 
having evidently penetrated that country from the southern 
part of New Guinea, going afterwards south-west, and thus 
overspreading the continent of Australia. This, at any rate, 
is the idea of those who have looked into the question. 
Tradition certainly seems to point to the Australian aborigines 
coming from the north. Ridley (perhaps the chief authority 
amongst the many devoted missionaries and laymen who have 
lived amongst them and investigated the history and customs 
of the race) speaks of a tradition about the first lauding of 
man on the north-west coast of Australia from Java. He says. 
moreover, " it has been shown out of their own mouths, from their 
songs and their cherished traditions, that they are by no means 
destitute of some qualities in which civilised men glory ; such as 
the power :of inventing tragic and sarcastic fiction, the thirst for 
religious mystery, stoical contempt of pain, and reverence for 
departed friends and ancestors. It may be affirmed, with some 
reason, that they have lianded down with reverential care through 
many generations, a fragment of primeval revelation. The manner 
in which they have displayed these characteristics present to us 
such a strange mixture of wisdom and folly, of elevating and 
degrading thoughts, of interesting and repulsive traditions, of 
pathetic and grotesque observances, that in order to account for the 
apparent contradictions, we must have recourse to the supposition 
of an ancient civilisation from which this race has fallen, but of 
which it haa retained some memorials" I need not now say more 
than to express my sincere pleasure at the full and careful treatment 
of this most important subject exhibited in the paper of Dr. Frascr. 
The poor aborigines have been for well-nigh a century hardly the better 


for English civilisation. They have been despoiled, degraded, and 
neglected by the Anglo-Saxon race who occupy their lands. It is 
well that this paper has been introduced to the notice of the 
members of this Institute, if only to give new impetus and a new 
motive to the movement at the antipodes for more righteous and 
brotherly attention to the material and spiritual wants of our fellow- 
subjects, the aborigines of Australia. 
The meeting was then adjourned. 


(Of Pacific University, United States). 

I have been very much interested in this paper, because it bears 
strongly on a subject on which I prepared a paper, which was read in 
1885 (see Transactions, vol. xix.), the bearing of the religious ideas 
of the natives on the unity of the race, and other principles of the Bible, 
my paper having had reference to the natives of America, while this 
one refers to those of Australia. It seems evident from their geo- 
graphical position, that, next to America, the islands of the Pacific 
Ocean are the most difficult of access by immigrants from that part 
of Asia where it is believed that Adam was created, and hence the 
most likely to be the centres of other human creations, if there were 
such. Hence, everything which tends to show that the inhabitants 
of these islands were formerly connected with that part of the 
human race which inhabits the Eastern continent is specially valu- 
able. Realising this, and my interest in the subject having grown 
since I wrote that paper, I have, as opportunity offered, examined 
some works on several of those islands, in order to see how much their 
religion agrees with that of the Bible. Mr. A. W. Howitt, F.L.S., 
F.G S., in a paper in the Smithsonian Report for 1883, on the Aus- 
tralian group relations, speaks of their belief in a Supi'eme Being, 
and their very great reverence for Him, even in pronouncing His 
name, and he gives this name in the languages of several of the 
tribes. W. B. Wildy, in a work on Australasia and the Oceanic 
region (p. 116), says that the Larrakeyahs and Woolnahs do not 
practise circumcision, but all the other tribes do ; and that the 
custom is purely traditional. He adds that they are afraid of an 
evil spirit called Browl ; and that under the trees, up which they 
bury their dead, they will smooth down the grass in order to detect 


any visitation of Browl ; also that before retiring at night, they take 
a light and hunt around, calling out " Browl ! Browl ! " as if to 
bring him from his hiding-place. These are the Northern Austra- 
lians, very low in the scale of civilisation, wearing almost no clothes, 
eating roots, grubs, worms, the larvae of ants, lizards and snakes, and 
practising cannibalism to some extent. Sir John Lubbock, in the 
Smithsonian Report for 1869, in a paper on the social and religious 
condition of the lower races of man, also speaks of the belief of the 
inhabitants of Australia in spirits and a kind of devil, who is spiteful 
and malevolent, but weak, and dangerous only in the dark. But the 
paper just read is a most valuable one, and I hope the author will 
follow up his studies on the subject much farther. There arc 
some things spoken of in this paper which remind me 
of practices among some of the natives of America. In 
regard to the ideas of the natives of America about a mediator, 
and dancing as a mode of worship, I would refer to my paper 
(Transactions, vol. xix., pp. 313, 319). There are among tlio 
Indians in Washington Territory, in the north-western part of the 
United States, two sacred styles of worship practised, called respect- 
ively the Red Ta-mah-no-us and Black Ta-mah-no-us, or religious 
ceremonies. The former derives its name from the red paint Avith 
which they paint themselves during its ceremonies. It is by far the 
most common of the two kinds, is open to the public, and is the usual 
way which many of them have of occupying the stormy winter days 
and long evenings. It is often practised by a few persons, and at any 
time and place, though sometimes considerable preparation is made 
for it. Any person may engage in its ceremonies, who has obtained 
his ta-mah-no-us, or guardian spirit. In order to get this, a young 
man (or woman) goes into the woods alone, where he remains eight, ten, 
or twelve days, with little or nothing to eat, but daring which time he- 
washes himself constantly. While there his ta-mah-no-us is revealed 
to him in the shape of some animal, which ever after is sacred to 
him : that is, his guardian spirit dwells in this animal. The latter, 
or black ta-mah-no-us, takes its name from the black paint which is 
used, especially on the face, during its ceremonies. This is a secret 
society, with certain ceremonies, which are public, but the meaning 
of which they do not tell. The ceremonies of initiation and observ- 
ance afterwards are only practised at some of the large gatherings. 
I have seen them but once, w T hen they occupied six or eight days, but 
I have heard of their lasting two months. Their faces were painted 
l)l;ick iu various ways, in stripes or spots, or with a part or tin- whole 


of it completely black. About the close of it, the candidates 
were washed for a long time. In fact, washing and purification 
constitute an important part of the initiatory ceremonies of 
both of these modes of worship, and also when a person 
becomes a medicine man. In both of these' we see the 
period of eight or ten days mentioned in the paper just read, 
but more especially in the red ta-mah-uo-us, whose object is 
to enable the candidate "to commune with the spirits," as the 
paper says (p. 5). In the latter, the secret society is plain, and 
the ceremonies are performed in great state, as in the Bora. Tradi- 
tion says that this latter originated in British Columbia, in a mytho- 
logical way. In the practice of the ceremonies of the red ta-mah-no- 
us, I have seen persons dance around a large fire, clothed with a red 
blanket, holding a stick in the hand, with face and eyes askance, so 
that I was forcibly reminded of an old witch with a wand in her 
hand. This stick was sacred, and the object of the performance was to 
purify the persons from sin. Singularly enough, however, the red paint 
is not considered as the symbol of evil, but of good. The tradition 
of the Skokomish Indians is that, long ago, when a previous race, 
tlio progenitors of the present one, dwelt here, the Klik-i-tat Indians 
of Central Washington came to Skokomish and engaged with 
those of Skokomish in a great game of gambling. The Klikitats 
who were painted red, won the game. In process of time, Dokibat, 
a kind of deity, incarnate, came and changed the people into 
earth, the Skokomish Indians being changed into the hills on the 
west side of Hood's canal, which are of common clay colour, and 
the Klikitats being changed into hills on the east side, where is 
a bank of red clay, the remains of the red paint, which was on 
the Klikitats. To that place the Skokomish Indians go for the 
red paint, which they use in gambling and religious ceremonies, 
as they believe it to be an omen of good. The circle and sun 
mentioned in this paper also have their counterpart in America. 
The ancient civilised nations of Mexico and Peru, and also less 
civilised tribes, as the Natchez Indians of Louisiana, the Dakotas, 
whose sun dance is one of the most savage of their religious 
ceremonies, the Blackfeet, Clallams and Makahs of the northern 
part of the United States, and the Pueblos of New Mexico and 
Arizona, all worshipped the sun. Many of these people built 
temples to it, and there are remains of sacred places in the south- 
western part of the United States in circles, which are believed to 
lie the ruins of ancient temples, and which have reminded me of 


the circles mentioned in this paper. There is evidence also to 
believe that the Ancient Mound builders Avorshipped the sun. 


There are many points in this important paper upon which I 
should like to write, but my stay in Australia was so short that 
though I ascertained a good deal, I must not do more than say 
that all I heard there is confirmed by the author. To study the 
links between distant nations or people as proved by any similar 
religious traditions as practices which they respectively hold, is 
a most valuable sphere of work. May I mention one point upon 
which the author seems to contradict himself, viz., the two passages 
on the 'second page of the paper where he denies " that religiousness 
is a thing of man's own invention,'' &c., and the allusion to tha 
" red heifer " of the Israelites, offered " probably with some reference 
to the Egyptian ideas about this colour." There appears to be in 
this a tendency to state that the Hebrew records which we hold to 
lie the inspired Word of God, adopted heathen customs. Is it not a 
much more reasonable as well as a more lofty view, to 
hold that the oral inspiration given to the primeval nations was the 
true origin of the degraded mythologies which we meet with in the 
most ancient religions ? And that this oral inspiration was the 
preparation for the elaborate system of type and ritual revealed 
eventually to Moses, and by him reduced to writing. I would 
have liked the author, as he was dealing with the "religious- 
ness of nations," to say something as to the capability of the 
Australian aborigines to understand and accept the Christian 
religion, and their receptivity as to civilisation, &c. I venture to 
suggest that had the author, with his Avide experience, given us 
some information on this subject, the practical value of the paper 
would have been very considerably enhanced. I heard and have 
read much as to the great success of mission work among tin- 
natives, both by Roman Catholic and Anglican Missionaries, but 
had no opportunity of seeing it. But as regards capacity for 
civilisation, I met some black boys from Western Australia and the 
Northern Territory, ages from ten to thirteen years ; they were 
travelling on board my steamer from Port Darwin to Brisbane and 
other parts of Queensland, so I had an opportunity of gauging their 
powers, &c. They were returning as servants to some miners 
who were going home after an unsuccessful hunt for gold, 


The boys had been taken from the wild tribes, had had no more 
than a few months' intercourse with white men, yet could talk 
English well, were very intelligent, and sang English songs very 
prettily. From all I gathered in Australia (and I visited every part 
between Port Darwin, along Queensland, down to Adelaide) these 
aborigines, reputed to be one of the lowest races of mankind, 
appear to have in them all the powers with which man is endowed, 
and the rising generation is capable of being formed into respectable 
civilised and religious communities. Of course, from Port Darwin 
to Brisbane was the most available field for inquiry, as the natives 
there have not been so entirely " wiped out," or, at least, are more 
easily reached than in New South. Wales, Victoria, or South 
Australia. In fact, from all I gathered, this appears to offer the 
greatest opportunities for success of all the foreign, fields of mission 
work that I have seen. 

Analogy (d\ "the fish-shaped roarer," which the author com- 
pares with the Chaldsean god, half man half fish, requires notice, 
as to the wide-spread relics of fish-worship. The god Vishnu 
(of India) is described as "incarnate, in the form of a Jish, 
to recover the sacred books lost in the Deluge." The fish was 
worshipped by the Cuthites or Phoenicians, and relics thereof 
appear abundantly in Ireland (in which country the round towers 
are perhaps the best known remains of this very early race). On 
one of the ancient and beautiful pre-Christian crosses at Kells, 
county Meath, I have lately seen a carving of six men on their 
knees worshipping a huge fish as big as themselves. When I was 
at Fuchau, on the Min river, in China, in October, 1886, I visited 
the Kushan (Buddhist) monastery, situated aloft in the seclusion of 
a mountain dell ; there is here a huge tank or pond full of sacred 
fish, mostly perch, some of which are an enormous size. The wor- 
shippers at these shrines can, for a few " cash " (a cash is about l-25th 
of a penny), buy a lot of biscuits, which they throw into the pond, and 
immediately the holy fish rise in hundreds to the surface and devour 
the offerings of the devotees. 

The mention of fire worship in Analogy (g) is rather too 
brief. The author might at least have said that this is none 
other than the worship of Baal. Abundant traces thereof are 
preserved to this day in Ireland, in names of places or dedications 
of ancient temples to Cuthite demigods transformed into Christian 
saints, all of whom are now represented as having lived about the 
time of St. Patrick, but there yet remains a tradition at Glenda- 


lough, co. Wicklow, that in ancient times the heathen priest used to 
ascend the fine round tower (which has been lately restored) and at 
sunrise called aloud the name of Baal four times, once from each of 
the four openings or windows at the summit of the tower, which 
face the cardinal points of the compass. (Cf. 1 Kings xviii. 26, &c., 
as to Baal among the Israelites.) Apart from the religious links of 
affinity between nations, and quite outside the limits of discussion 
of Mr. Fraser's paper, is the last word I would like to add, but it 
may perhaps be ruled " out of order." It is, however, an instance 
of how a link may be traced which has never been thought of. 
The case in point is the affinity of the ' Indians of Alaska with the 
Botocudos of Eastern Brazil. I had the opportunity of attending 
a recent meeting of the Royal Geographical Society, when a paper 
was read by Mr. Stearn on his explorations of the Rio Doce in 
Brazil, and his sojourn among the Botocudos for a month. In the 
discussion, Mr. Colin Mackenzie (whom I met in Brazil in 1884) 
stated that he had traced the custom of the monstrous lip-disc worn 
by the Botocudos, from the eastern coast of Central Brazil, through 
the interior, by Central America, to the West Coast in California 
and thence up to Alaska, where the custom is also found to-day. 



I have to thank the Chairman and those who have taken part in 
the discussion for their kind approbation of my paper. I may be 
allowed to state that it was written to combat the theory held by 
some ethnologists that our Australian blacks are a race distinct 
from the rest of mankind. Against this theory my argument is 
briefly this : The blacks of Western Africa have certain rites and 
ceremonies, evidently of a religious and sacred character, through 
which yoxing men have to pass at their opening manhood. The 
blacks of Australia have similar ceremonies, of a similar import, 
and in some particulars, identical with those of Africa ; therefore 
these two races must have drawn their rites of initiation from a. 
common origin and a common source, for it is impossible to 
believe that two races of mankind, now located so far from each 
other, and with no opportunities of contact for thousands of years 
bygone, should have, apart and of themselves, worked out the same 
beliefs by mere thinking. My introductory remarks, to which Mr. 
Stephenson refers, were meant to say that man is found to have 
everywhere a share in the common religious instinct planted in him 
by God, and, it may be, in a common primitive revelation given by 
God. All mankind are therefore in this respect homogeneous, but 
if men were found anywhere who were void of this instinct, the 
mere use of the thinking faculty would not lead them to religious 
beliefs and acts of worship. 

As to the " red heifer," I should have expressed my meaning more 
accurately if I had said the red colour of the heifer in the Mosaic 
ordinance had probably some reference to the notions about that 
colour which we find among the Hamite races, of which the early 
Egyptians were a part. I did not intend to say that any portion of 
the Mosaic ritual was borrowed from the Egyptians. To the white 
race black is the evil colour ; to the black race white is the spirit- 
colour, and red is evil. 



As to the analogies which may be drawn from Baal worship, I 
spoke of them as briefly as possible, because they are so well known 
in Britain. 

I may here be asked how I came to possess a full account of the 
Bora ceremonies, when the blacks hold them as sacred, and will not 
divulge them. So silent are they on this point that, so far as I know, 
no one had previously obtained, or at least published, full informa- 
tion about these ceremonies. Well, about sixty years ago it was the 
custom in this colony for the Government to give grants of Crown 
land of considerable extent to immigrant gentlemen who were in 
a position to occupy and improve the land . The father of a friend 
of mine got a grant in this way, and went to take possession. As 
I have explained in the paper itself, he was coming down the hill 
towards the spot where he intended to build his house, when a tribe of 
blacks camped there rushed off in alarm, taking him to be " Wunda," 
a spirit ; but, reassured by his gestures, they came near, and finding 
him to resemble a chief of theirs, who had just died, they claimed 
him as one of themselves ! His son, as might be expected, grew up 
on terms of intimacy with the blacks on the estate, and has always 
treated them with kindness ; they will tell him anything. At my 
request he got a young black, who had just been initiated, to tell him 
all about the Bora. I have in various ways tested information thus 
given, and I am convinced that it is full and accurate. 

In the month of September, 1888, there was some correspondence 
in the Times on the subject of Australian arithmetic. A dis- 
tinguished authority there says, " One of the clearest indications of 
the low mental power of savages is that afforded by arithmetic." 
It seems to me that this statement is too general ; for even, 
although the power of counting up to high numbers were wanting 
in a savage, it does not follow that his mental powers in general 
are low. Perception, cognition, and memory are mental powers ; 
but if Sir John Lubbock's memory were weak and yet the cognitive 
and perceptive faculties remained strong and vigorous, it would be 
unjust to say that he is a man " of low mental power." Colonists 
who have been long familiar with the blacks of Australia, with one 
voice cry out against the assertion that they are of low mental 
power, and could give hundreds of instances to the contrary. A 
friend of min;> who, in his boyhood, fifty years ago, was much in 
contact with the triba in the midst of which his father had settled, 
has told me that two black boys, his companions, were " out and 


out good chess-players, taking plenty of time to study the moves, 
and showing great patience and calmness ; these boys never went 
to school, and yet they could count up to a thousand." It is very 
clear that mental power was there, in these boys, but unseen and 
dormant, like seed in the ground, until circumstances led to its 
being developed. 

Sir John Lubbock also says, " In no Australian language is there 
any word for ' five.' " This is not quite correct, for I know at least 
two large tribes (and there may be others that I do not know of), 
the one in Queensland and the other in the south-east of New South 
Wales, which have single words for "five," and in each case the 
word " five " is formed from the native word meaning " hand." 
As to the general question the counting of numbers I believe that 
a careful analysis of the numerals used by the Aryan family of Ian 
gnages will show that the base of them is one, two, three, and no 
more, three being in many religions a sacred and complete number ; 
and that the other digits are expressed by words equivalent to one- 
three, hand, hand-and-one, hand-and-two, two-four, one-wanting 
two hands. If it should be proved that the Aryans, now the 
most civilized of races, originally said one-three for four, why 
should our Australians be considered " of low mental power " 
because they say two-two for four ? Indeed, I am inclined to think 
that our Australians count in the more natural way, for they see 
nothing in or around them arranged in threes ; the birds and beasts 
go in pairs ; they themselves have two feet, two hands, two eyes, 
and so they count by twos. If the Australian blacks separated 
from the parent stock of mankind at a time when the common 
numeral system was still limited to one, two, or one, two, three, 
then their case is merely one of arrested development, their en- 
vironment being unfavourable after separation ; or if they ever had a 
developed system of composite numbers, these have fallen into 
disuse through the operation of a law of nature, for their wants are 
few and they live so much from hand to mouth that they had no 
need for high numbers. Their neighbours in Polynesia, who have 
plenty of fish to count, and bunches of bananas, and yams, and taro 
and cocoa-nuts, have developed many peculiar expressions to in- 
dicate the number of these, but our black fellow, who is well 
pleased when he is able to sing of the capture of " wakula, boolara 
bundarra " (one, two kangaroos), and whose only property is two 
or three spears, clubs, and boomerangs, does not require to use high 


numbers in his daily speech. Nevertheless, when it is necessary, 
he counts 10, 20, 30, 40 by closing and opening his hands, and 
then for higher numbers he contents himself with saying "Many, 

For these and other reasons it is desirable that men of science in 
Britain should be careful in building theories upon what is said 
about our Australian aborigines ; much of the information they 
have about them is unreliable, for it has not been gathered by 
competent observers or tested on scientific principles. 


Professor Max-Muller, in his " Selected Essays " (volume ii., p. 27), 
makes the following interesting remarks : 

"Looking at a report sent home lately by the indefatigable 
Governor of New South Wales, Sir Hercules Robinson, I find the 
following description of the religious ideas of the Kamilarois, one 
of the most degraded tribes in the North- Western district of the 
colony : 

" 'Bhaiami is regarded by them as the maker of all things. The 
name signifies ' maker,' or ' cutter-out,' from the verb bhai, baialli, 
baia. He is regarded as the rewarder and punisher of men accord- 
ing to their conduct. He sees all, and knows all, if not directly, 
through the subordinate deity Turramulan, who presides at the 
Bora. Bhaiami is said to have been once on the earth. Turramulan 
is mediator in all operations of Bhaiami upon man, and in all man's 
transactions with Bhaiami. Turramulan means ' leg on one side 
only,' ' one-legged.' 

" This description is given by the Rev. C. Grreenway, and if there 
is any theological bias in it, let us make allowance for it. But there 
remains the fact that Bhaiami, their name for deity, comes from a 
root ' bhai,' to ' make,' to 'cut out,' and if we remember that hardly 
any of the names for deity, either among the Aryan or Semitic 
nations, comes from a root with so abstract a meaning, we shall 
admit, I think, that such reports as these should not be allowed to 
lie forgotten in the pigeon-holes of the Colonial Office or in the 
pages of a monthly journal." ED. 








($ublisf)rtj for tfjc institute) 





WE saw in a former Paper that Mr. Spencer made common 
cause with the Realist Philosophers in asserting that 
the deliverance of consciousness must take precedence of all 
conclusions arrived at by a process of Reasoning. In holding 
such an opinion he shows his own good sense, his philoso- 
phical grasp and acumen, his clear scientific conceptions, and 
his determination to found his system on none of the mere 
alluvial strata of the Mind, but to get down far beneath to the 
solid rock which is underlying all. Here we can be com- 
pletely at one with him. Any product of Reason, any conclu- 
sion arrived at by Reason, can, in the nature of the case, only 
be an elaboration of the materials given by consciousness, and 
it is far better, if we want to know what is in consciousness, 
to examine and analyse its primary elements, rather than a 
finished elaboration of these, into which some other element 
may have been imported. Every man of science acts on this 

principle, and it is manifestly a dictate of common sense. A 
recent writer contends that Mr. Spencer's " metaphysical 
principles are empirical."* By this he can only mean that 
because Mr. Spencer shows that the Logical Laws are the slow 
growth in us, through unnumbered organisms, of much humbler 
elements of Mind, therefore they have been acquired by and 
are the result of the experience of those organisms. In my 
judgment such an argument is neither sound nor just, and it 
admits of a most effective rejoinder. Mr. Spencer may reply 
that, so far from deriving those Logical Laws from experience, 
he is, on the contrary, showing that they are the simple out- 
growth of the one a priori principle which runs throughout 
the universe; he is showing that their 'roots stretch far away 
down, deeper than all things ; he is assigning them an anti- 
quity compared with which the date the Professor affixes 
makes them but of mushroom growth, and is giving them an 
authority which makes his a priori canon nothing more than 
their humble vassal. 

So much Mr. Spencer might say on the ground of his 
synthetic system alone. But when in addition, in his analytic 
system, he expressly sets aside all possible rivals of the simple 
deliverances of consciousness, and proclaims his adhesion to 
consciousness alone, then it seems to me only fair and just to 
accept his disclaimer, and to regard his system as an honest 
attempt to found only on consciousness. The a priori is his 
structural element ; his metaphysics are not empirical. 

We have now to examine his Theory of the Will. He denies 
to the Will all moral freedom, taking up the position of the 
Philosophical necessarian. Now, if Consciousness could be 
clearly shown to assert that we have a sense of moral Liberty, 
Mr. Spencer could be proved to contradict Consciousness on 
this point. No doubt some of the greatest Philosophers, 
including Kant, Jacobi, Hamilton, contend that Consciousness 
does give us this sense of Freedom, and they attach to it the 
greatest possible importance. But others as strenuously deny 
it, and there is no more vexed question in all Philosophy. Leav- 
ing this, then, for the present at least, let us look at Mr. 
Spencer's reasoning on the matter. 

Now, if Consciousness really asserts that we are morally 
free, there must be some break in Mr. Spencer's logical 
chain, since he asserts the exact contradictory. If, then, on 
examination we find such a break, it will so far be an evidence 
that Consciousness does make the assertion, and we shall then 

Professor Fairbairn, Contemporary Bevieiv for July. 


be in a position, when Mr. Spencer's arguments are swept out 
of the way, to look carefully and dispassionately at the whole 
matter. We shall find, I think, that here Mr. Spencer is 
singularly weak so weak, indeed, that what he says scarcely 
deserves the name of reasoning. 

Let us, then, examine his theory. 

Mr. Spencer's Theory of the Will is one of the most original 
and remarkable parts of his Philosophy. It will be remem- 
bered that he makes what is subjectively Mind to be, in its 
objective aspect, currents or motions of nervous molecules. 
He makes what we call Will, or an act of volition, to be the 
commingling, in one definite stream of force, of a number of 
those nerve currents, which, in a previous state of indecision, 
were colliding one against another. It is like many rivers 
debouching into a lake; they come rushing pell-mell; and 
this confusion in the currents represents, in its subjective 
aspect, the time of uncertainty ; until, at length, one adverse 
stream has neutralised another, the lake becomes calm, and 
the one unobstructed current flows on ; which current is the 
resultant of all the streams that there met. Thus it will be 
seen that Mr. Spencer's theory utterly denies the existence of 
any determining element in the Will itself; it makes the whole 
process to be merely mechanical, nothing more than the mix- 
ture of nerve molecules. Or to take another illustration of 
his theory from a contested county election. There are various 
polling places, where votes of various numbers are recorded- 
and these votes represent the different motives with their 
exact quota of weight but the result is arithmetically deducible 
from the completed polling-books, and the delay in learning 
which candidate is returned arises, not from any contingency 
or uncertainty, but simply because time is required to arrive 
at the totals. 

That such is Mr. Spencer's theory will be apparent from 
the following passages. He is describing what he calls Will, 
and he says : 

" On passing from compound reflex actions to those actions so highly com- 
pounded as to be imperfectly reflex on passing from the organically-deter- 
mined psychical changes, which take place with extreme rapidity, to the 
psychical changes which, not being organically-determined, take place with 
some deliberation, and therefore consciously ; we pass to a kind of mental 
action, which is one of Memory, Reason, Feeling, or Will, according to the 
side of it we look at." * 

* Principles of Psychology, vol. i. p. 495 (2nd Edition, from which all 
quotations are made). 

B 2 

" When the automatic actions become so involved, so varied in kind, and 
severally so infrequent, as no longer to be performed with unhesitating pre- 
cision, when, after the reception of one of the more complex impressions, 
the appropriate motor changes become nascent, but are prevented from 
passing into immediate action by the antagonism of certain other nascent 
motor changes appropriate to some nearly allied impression ; there is consti- 
tuted a state of consciousness which, when it finally issues in action, displays 
what we term volition."* 

Again he says : 

" An immense number of psychical states are partially aroused, some of 
which unite with the original impression in exciting the action, while the 
rest combine as exciters of an opposite action ; and when, eventually, from 
their greater number or intensity, the first outbalance the others, the inter- 
pretation is that, as an accumulated stimulus, they become sufficiently strong 
to make the nascent motor changes pass into actual motor changes." f 

But, in order to show what is Mr. Spencer's reasoning on 
the subject, I must trouble you with a long quotation. He 
says : 

" Long before reaching this point, most readers must have perceived that 
the doctrines developed in the last two parts of this work are at variance 
with the current tenets respecting the freedom of the Will. That every one 
is at liberty to do what he desires to do (supposing there are no external 
hindrances) all admit, though people of confused ideas commonly suppose 
this to be the thing denied. But that every one is at liberty to desire or 
not to desire, which is the real proposition involved in the dogma of free- 
will, is negatived as much by the analysis of consciousness as by the contents 
of the preceding chapters. From the universal law that, other things equal, 
the cohesion of psychical states is proportionate to the frequency with which 
they have followed one another in experience, it is an inevitable corollary 
that all actions whatever must be determined by those psychical connexions 
which experience has generated, either in the life of the individual, or in 
that general antecedent life of which the accumulated results are organised 
in his constitution. 

" To go at length into this long-standing controversy respecting the Will 
would be alike useless and out of place. I can but briefly indicate what 
seems to me the nature of the current illusion, as interpreted from the point 
of view at which we have arrived. 

" Considered as an internal perception, the illusion consists in supposing 
that at each moment the ego is something more than the aggregate of feelings 
and ideas, actual and nascent, which then exists. A man who, after being 
subject to an impulse consisting of a group of psychical states, real and ideal, 
performs a certain action, usually asserts that he determined to perform the 
action ; and by speaking of his conscious self as having been something 
separate from the group of psychical states constituting the impulse, is led 
into the error of supposing that it was not the, impulse alone which deter- 
mined the action. But the entire group of psychical states which constituted 
the antecedent of the action, also constituted himself at that moment 
constituted his psychical self, that is, as distinguished from his physical self. 

* Principles of Psychology, vol. i. p. 496. t Ibid. vol. i. p, 498. 

It is alike true that he determined the action, and that the aggregate of his 
feelings and ideas determined it ; since, during its existence, this aggregate 
constituted his then state of consciousness, that is, himself. Either the ego, 
which is supposed to determine or will the action, is present in conscious- 
ness or it is not. If it is not present in consciousness, it is something of 
which we are unconscious something, therefore, of whose existence we neither 
have nor can have any evidence. If it is present in consciousness, then, as it is 
ever present, it can be at each moment nothing else than the state of con- 
sciousness, simple or compound, passing at that moment. It follows, inevi- 
tably, that when an impression, received from without, makes nascent certain 
appropriate motor changes, and various of the feelings* and ideas which must 
accompany and follow them ; and when, under the stimulus of this composite 
psychical state, the nascent motor changes pass in actual motor changes ; 
this composite psychical state, which excites the action, is, at the same time, 
the ego which is said to will the action. Naturally enough, then, the subject 
of such psychical changes says that he wills the action ; since, psychically 
considered, he is at that moment nothing more than the composite state of 
consciousness by which the action is excited. But to say that the performance 
of the action is, therefore, the result of his free will, is to say that he determines 
the cohesions of the psychical states which arouse the action ; and, as these 
psychical states constitute himself at that moment, this is to say that these 
psychical states determine their own cohesions, which is absurd. Their 
cohesions have been determined by experiences the greater part of them 
constituting what we call his natural character, by the experiences of ante- 
cedent organisms ; and the rest by his own experiences. The changes which 
at each moment take place in his consciousness, and among others those 
which he is said to will, are produced by this infinitude of previous expe- 
riences registered in his nervous structure, co-operating with the immediate 
impressions on his senses : the effects of these combined factors being in 
every case qualified by the physical state, general or local, of his organism. 

" This subjective illusion, in which the notion of free-will commonly origi- 
nates, is strengthened by a corresponding objective illusion. The actions of 
other individuals, lacking as they do that uniformity characterising pheno- 
mena of which the laws are known, appear to be lawless appear to be under 
no necessity of following any particular order ; and are hence supposed to be 
determined by the unknown independent something called the Will. But 
this seeming indeterminateness in the mental succession is consequent on the 
extreme complication of the forces in action. The composition of causes is 
so intricate, and from moment to moment so varied, that the effects are not 
calculable. These effects are, however, as conformable to law as the simplest 
reflex actions. The irregularity and apparent freedom are inevitable results 
of the complexity, and equally arise in the inorganic world under parallel 
conditions. To amplify an illustration before used : A body in space, sub- 
ject to the attraction of a single other body, moves in a direction that can be 
accurately predicted. If subject to the attractions of two bodies, its course 
is but approximately calculable. If subject to the attractions of three 
bodies, its course cn be calculated with still less precision. And, if it is 
surrounded by bodies of all sizes at all distances, its motion will be appa- 
rently uninfluenced by any of them : it will move in some indefinable 
varying line that appears to be self-determined : it will seem to be free. 
Similarly, in proportion as the cohesions of each psychical state to others 
become great in number and various in degree, the psychical changes will 
become incalculable and apparently subject to no law.'' 

* There is evidently some mistake here, but those are the ipsissima verba 
of Mr. Spencer's work. 


To reduce the general question to its simplest form : Psychical changes 
either conform to law or they do not. If they do not conform to law, this 
work, in common with all works on the subject, is sheer nonsense ; no 
science of Psychology is possible. If they do conform to law, there cannot 
be any such thing as free-will.* 

If now we carefully take to pieces this tissue of elaborate 
argument, we shall find, I think, that there is hardly one 
sentence in it which does not contain either a glaring mis- 
statement, a palpable fallacy, or a clear petitio principii. Let 
us take the sentences in order. 

1. In sentences two and three he says that "the real pro- 
position involved in the dogma of free-will " is " that every 
one is at liberty to desire or not to desire." Now as to 
whether this is a just statement of the problem, we will call 
two witnesses of unimpeachable character Kant and Hamil- 
ton. Kant says "we only mean by liberty that negative 
property of our thinking frame not to be determined to act 
by physical excitements. "f Still more clearly he says, "The 
instincts of man's physical nature give birth to obstacles 
which hinder and impede him in the execution of his duty. 
They are, in fact, mighty opposing forces which he has to go 
forth and encounter." J Again he speaks of "the force reason 
has to vanquish and beat down all the appetites which oppose 
the execution of the law." Clearly then Kant allows that 
we must desire, but says we have power to rein in our desires. 
Hamilton is just as clear. He speaks of man's liberty as 
' ' capable of carrying that Law " of Duty " into effect, in op- 
position to the solicitations, the impulsions of his material 
nature." || A few lines lower he speaks of Liberty as a power 
" capable of resisting and conquering the counter action of our 
animal nature." || Thus Kant and Hamilton admit that we 
are compelled to desire, but they assert that our free will can 
restrain desire. Mr. Spencer must therefore stand convicted, 
either of being ignorant of what they held, or else of a de- 
liberate misrepresentation of the question at issue. On either 
supposition he stands convicted of glaring misrepresentation. 

2. In the next sentence sentence four there is a fallacy. 
Let it be remembered that Mr. Spencer has to prove that the 
will is not free, and he is now advancing arguments which are 
supposed to prove it. This is his argument. "From the 
universal law that, other things equal, the cohesion of 
psychical states is proportionate to the frequency with which 

* Principles of Psychology, vol. i. pp. 500, 503. 

tKant, Metaphysic of Ethics, Calderwood's Ed., p. 174. J Ibid. p. 194. 

Ibid. p. 198. || Hamilton, Lectures on Metaphysics, vol. i. 4th Ed. ; p. 29. 

they have followed each other in experience, it is an inevitable 
corollary that all actions whatever must be determined by 
those psychical. connexions which experience has generated." 
Now what, I ask, is the argument in this sentence save an 
assumption of the very point at issue ? 

It is contended, as Mr. Spencer surely knows, by those who 
hold the Freedom of the Will, that, be the connexion of psy- 
chical states what it may, be the organisation what it may, 
there is still, in every sane man, a power of bearing back the 
force of the organisation, and of going clean contrary to it. 
Such assert that there is a free element in the Will which 
makes it unlike to, and higher than, anything elsewhere to be 
found in the whole domain of consciousness. They declare 
that the chain of causation which obtains even in the majority 
of our mental operations, does not obtain in the region of the 
Will, that it stands solitary and unique the organ of a free 
and responsible Personality surrounded by a universe held 
in the chains of Law. That is the position taken up by the 
ablest advocates of Freedom. What argument does Mr. 
Spencer advance against this position ? None whatever ; he 
simply assumes that the will is ruled by the same unvarying 
law, and has the same definite succession of necessary states 
as those which obtain in other parts of the universe ; which is 
the very thing advocates of its freedom say it has not. Mr. 
Spencer, therefore, does not meet the issue ; he simply evades 
it. As we saw in our last Paper, he passed per saltum from 
solar rays to mental, energies, so here, by a similar unwarranted 
leap, he passes from the admitted conformity to Law which 
marks other parts of our organisation to that unique Freedom 
and power of choice which resides in the Will alone. 

3. In the next sentence but one there is the same unwar- 
ranted assumption of the very point in dispute. He calls it 
" an illusion " to think " that at each moment the ego is some- 
thing more than the aggregate of feelings and ideas, actual 
and nascent, which then exists ! " If this is not confounding 
the phenomena with the substance in which that phenomena 
inheres, I am at a loss to understand the meaning of lan- 
guage. "The aggregate of feelings and ideas, actual and 
nascent," means the various tracts which together cover over 
the whole area of consciousness they are the various modifi- 
cations of the substance of mind. Now does Mr. Spencer, 
the advocate of Kealism, the resolute Iconoclast of all 
Idealistic theories does he mean, as he here says, that " the 
aggregate of feelings and ideas " is all that is in the ego ? 
Does he really deny that there is an ego distinct from these, a 
substratum on which they repose." If so, shade of Berkeley ! 

how tliou art avenged, for thy fiercest assailant is now pos- 
sessed by a double portion of thy spirit. Evidently Mr. 
Spencer here commits himself to a theory of the wildest 
Idealism. He denies the existence of all substance of mind, 
and asserts that there are in us only a fleeting succession of 
transitory states ! Just as well he might deny the existence 
of all substance of matter, and say that matter is nothing more 
than a bundle of phenomena. John Stuart Mill asserted this, 
but hitherto Mr. Spencer has been too wise. He can take up 
this position if he likes, but he will know the fate which in that 
case awaits him. Elsewhere he has many times said that 
mind as distinct from all phenomena of mind is the one 
existence of whose reality we can be most absolutely certain, 
"is a truth transcending all others in certainty/'* In this 
sentence, then, are two contradictions. He confounds sub- 
stance with phenomena, which elsewhere he has carefully 
distinguished ; and he denies, what he has in other places 
asserted, that mind, as distinguished from its modifications, 

4. In the next sentence but one there is the same assump- 
tion. There is not one particle more of reasoning. He simply 
asserts that <f the entire group of psychical states which con- 
stituted the antecedent of the action also constituted " (the 
actor) " himself at that moment constituted his psychical 
self, that is, as distinguished from his physical self." Now 
here is a very clever and plausible sophism. We cannot say 
point blank that Mr. Spencer's statement is false, but as he 
means it, it is false. " The entire group of psychical states " 
may be, perhaps, held to make up a man's " psychical self," 
if within those " psychical states " that power of free-will 
which rules them all is included. But Mr. Spencer means by 
" psychical states" simply states of mind held in the bonds of 
unvarying law, with all freedom of will shut out. Hence his 
sentence, reasonably true in sound, is false in meaning, and 
no fresh argument is adduced. It is one more petitio 

5. In the very next sentence he makes the same round 
assertion, advancing no fresh argument. 

6. In the next sentence he makes a break as if about to go 
on a new line of departure, and give us something more 
worthy of his masterly dialectic. But it is only to continue 
the same logical vice. He says : " Either the ego which is 
supposed to determine or will the action is present in con- 

* Principles of Psychology, vol. i. p. 209. 

sciousness or it is not. If it is not present in consciousness, 
it is something of which we are unconscious, something of 
whose existence we neither have nor can have any evidence. 
If it is present in consciousness, then, as it is ever present, it 
can be at each moment nothing else than the state of con- 
sciousness, simple or compound, passing at that moment." 
Obviously here is again only assertion, and no proof. 

7. In the next sentence he makes the same unsupported 
assertion, saying, "this composite psychical state which 
excites the action, is at the same time the ego which is said to 
will the action." 

8. The next sentence is very suggestive and self-revealing, 
but it contains only assertion, and no proof. He continues : 
"Naturally enough, then, the subject of such psychical 
changes (it is passing strange how, if these psychical changes 
are the man himself, as we have so often been told, there can 
be a subject of them subject is what underlies phenomena, 
and if there are only the phenomena, the subject thereof is 
only a sort of hypostatised zero) the subject of such psychical 
changes says that he wills the action, since psychically con- 
sidered he is at that moment" (the same round assertion as 
before) " nothing more than the composite state of conscious- 
ness by which the action is excited." This seems to me to be on 
the whole one of the most remarkable sentences in the whole 
compass of Philosophy. The poor " subject " is made to do 
duty in many aspects. In the first clause he is a being who 
alone makes possible all the "psychical changes," for a 
psychical change cannot take place save in a psyche, of which 
it is a change; in the second clause he is alive and active 
indeed, but under an illusion in thinking he wills the change ; 
in the next clause he is reduced to "nothing more than the 
composite state of consciousness" by which the change was 
effected. Mr. Spencer must be pressed indeed for argument 
before he could put on paper such hollow reasoning. 

9. In the next sentence we have the old assertion, but no 
proof. " But to say that the performance of the action is 
therefore the result of his free-will is to say that he deter- 
mines the cohesion of the psychical states which arouse the 
action and as these psychical states constitute himself at that 
moment" (asserted and not proved once more) "this is to 
say that these psychical states determine their own cohesions, 
which is absurd." 

10. In the next sentence he says, " their cohesions " (cohe- 
sions of these psychical states) " have been determined by 
experiences." But this is the very statement which the advo- 
cates of Freedom deny. They say that the cohesions made 


by the Will are undetermined that all "experiences" are 
only votes given in favour of a certain course and that, be 
the voting what it may, the Will has a casting vote which 
can set aside any amount opposed to it, and by its simple 
decree compel the organisation to act as it pleases. To 
establish his proposition Mr. Spencer is bound to overthrow 
this doctrine. As we have seen, he has not advanced one 
real argument; he has only made assertions. The advo- 
cates of Freedom can make counter-assertions, and, for all 
that Mr. Spencer has contributed, the matter stands where 
it was. 

11. In the next sentence there is the same unsupported 

12. The next suggests that what he calls the subjective 
illusion that our will is free is strengthened by an objective 
illusion, produced by the extreme complexity of the amounts 
and directions of the motives that urge it, which complexity 
is such as to make its action incalculable ; and he shows that 
in proportion as material masses are acted upon by many 
forces do they move in a line which cannot be predicted, and 
hence they seem to be free. Any trained scientific intellect 
will, I think, see the worthlessness of this argument. Every 
mathematician will say in a moment that if a million forces be 
acting on a body, it will obey the resultant of them all, and 
that between this and freedom there is a difference as wide 
as logical contradictories can make it. 

No doubt the flight of a bird through the air seems to be 
free ; but it seems so only to the untrained intelligence, and 
any one accustomed to the severities of scientific thought sees 
quite clearly that every movement of its wings is held in the 
bonds of fixed law as completely as a planet is held in its 
place in the heavens. Mr. Spencer's is only an ad captandum 
argument ; the illusion would impose on no student of science. 

13. Mr. Spencer then makes one final effort a sort of 
closing charge, intended to sweep all opponents from the 
field. He brings out one of his great generalisations, which 
are, as a rule, so far-reaching in their range and so penetra- 
ting and deadly in their sweep. Here, however, his artillery 
is loaded only with blank cartridge ; there is a great appear- 
ance, but no force. He says, " To reduce the general ques- 
tion to its simplest form, Psychical changes either conform to 
law, or they do not. If they do not conform to law, this work, 
in common with all works on the subject, is sheer nonsense ; 
no science of Psychology is possible. If they do conform 
to law, there cannot be any such thing as free-will." 

This last sentence seems to show in what way Mr. Spencer 


is misled. He evidently thinks that conforming to law makes 
free-will impossible. He has that inveterate materialistic bias, 
often engendered by scientific pursuits, which can only regard 
"law" as applying to material things to masses or mole- 
cules and it must have been evident that all through his 
Theory of the Will he has been thinking only of the currents 
of nerve-molecules, and has never had in clear vision the 
immaterial mind which rides upon them. Thinking only of 
molecules he cannot see how they can be free ; he is com- 
pelled, whilst he is in this materialistic vein, to regard the 
whole man as all made up out of them, and all contained 
within them ; hence he is driven to make these molecules the 
determining power of each action, and to ignore altogether 
that immaterial Mind in the man whose existence is one of 
the structural doctrines of his Philosophy. This Mind may 
conform to law and yet be free: the Will, which is one 
aspect of the Mind, may determine, within certain defined 
limits, along what lines the molecules shall go ; it may make 
and carry out its decrees as it chooses ; it may be free, and yet 
all the psychical changes will conform to law, a law the Will 

It is easy to prove that there can be no contradiction 
between conforming to law and freedom. We can form the 
conception of an agent who is free, and is at the same time 
morally perfect. No one surely will contend that these are 
logical contradictories which cannot be combined in one con- 
cept (the illustration would hold if we regarded him as 
diabolically perfect) ; now this agent is by hypothesis free, and 
yet it is certain that his very perfection would lead him, with 
absolute precision, along the lines of that law which laid down 
the path of moral perfectness. His organisation being perfect 
would urge him along that path, his will being perfect and 
free would deliberately approve of the suggestions of the 
organisation, would accept them, and carry them out. 

If we take up for a moment the Theistic position, the point 
can be more conclusively proved. Let us ask, " Is God free ? " 
If not, then He also is bound in the same miserable chain ol 
Fatalism. If He is free, yet when He gives fullest play to His 
energies is He not most completely conforming to law the 
law of His own holy nature. If, then, the Creator can be 
free and also conform to law, the combination of the two con- 
cepts in one concrete instance is proved to be possible. Why, 
then, should it not be possible to the creature also ? Made in 
the image of Grod, is it not probable that some of the Divine 
Freedom would be given to us ? As we seek to train our 
children to be good and holy by setting them free in due 


time from the restraints of law, seeking to educate in them a 
righteous principle which shall make them rule themselves 
wisely and well, and as we know that their attainment of this 
principle is worth all the possible slips and mischances they 
may make in gaining it, so the Divine Father may see that 
the true valour of righteousness can only be acquired by set- 
ting our spirits free, He may see that the advantages so secured 
far outweigh the disadvantages ; He may recoil from having 
His Throne surrounded by a band of slaves who never had 
any choice as to whom they would serve ; He may prefer 
the loyalty of free men ; and to secure this He may launch out 
each human spirit on the ocean of life, supplying abundance 
of charts and guides, but casting on each the solemn respon- 
sibility of deciding to what port he will steer, what character 
he will have, what he will regard as the supreme good of his 
being. For God so to act is to make Life one grand moral 
test, and, so far we can judge, it is a course eminently worthy 
of the God of Righteousness. 

It must now have been made evident that all through Mr. 
Spencer's reasoning on the subject of the Will he has got 
into a shallow vein, and never gets down to the depths 
which are found in other places of his philosophy. He 
seems here to have yielded himself to a preconceived notion, 
to have allowed that notion to rule the entire structure of his 
thought, and to have laid aside that habit of careful, dis- 
passionate scrutiny which has, for the most part, characterised 
him. It is difficult to account on any other hypothesis for the 
utterly superficial character of the thought and argument he 
has here presented. If we formed our notion of his Philosophy 
from these few pages, what could we deem him but the very 
chief of empiricists ? What can we gather from these but that 
our consciousness of Personality is a delusion, that our ego 
is only a bundle of feelings and ideas, that mind is only 
an aspect of matter, that the logical laws are only registered 
sensations, that consciousness is untrustworthy, that matter 
is only phenomena, that there is no rock of truth anywhere, 
that we can be certain of nothing, that we cannot be 
certain whether we can be certain of nothing, that the whole 
universe is a quaking body where appearance is mixed with 
reality, and it is quite impossible to tell whether there is 
anything of either ? That is the sorry stuff which may fairly 
be gathered from these unworthy pages. A more thorough- 
going contradiction to the doctrines which Mr. Spencer has 
elsewhere, over and over again, proclaimed to be structural 
and fundamental principles of his Philosophy, it is not easy to 
conceive. Then this mere surface of argument, which is just 


like the strange ego he has conjured upj the mere phenomena 
of thought without one particle of reality behind it, this poor 
word-painting, utterly unbecoming a great philosopher, he 
attempts to keep in countenance by an illustration just as 
shallow, just as evasive of the point at issue, just as much a 
piece of mere paint as all that has gone before. No doubt 
those have something on their side who affirm that Mr. 
Spencer's whole system is an empiricism. It must be allowed 
that he has some clay mixed with his iron and his gold. His 
system is not homogeneous. Still, as Homer sometimes nods, 
I, for myself, prefer to appeal from Mr. Spencer, seemingly 
prejudiced, and certainly shallow and inconsistent, to his own 
deeper and grander self, and to hold that that is the true 
philosopher who has led us to found on the solid rock of truth, 
who has proclaimed that the evidence of consciousness 
transcends all other evidences, that the existence of mind is 
one of the most certain of truths. It is his masterly demon- 
stration of these important principles which gives him a claim 
to our reverence and gratitude, and for the sake of these we can 
pass by his failing here. But the complete failure of a logician 
of his grasp to render a worthy reason suggests a very decided 
inference that the truth in the matter is altogether against 
him, and that even he is not powerful enough to bear back 
the overwhelming strength which that truth possesses. 

In showing, then, that Mr. Spencer has not proved the 
bondage of the Will we have made another great chasm in 
his Philosophical system hardly less important than the chasm 
shown in the former paper to exist. Then it was proved, on 
Mr. Spencer's own showing, that although he allowed Mind 
and Matter to be at opposite poles of the universe, having 
between them a logical chasm which no effort of ours could 
span, he yet did attempt to pass logically from solar rays to 
mental operations, and that his whole system fell in utter chaos 
if this step was impossible. As it was impossible, it was in 
this way shown that all the Mind in the universe remained, on 
his system, quite unaccounted for, and that this omission made 
a yawning gap he could never fill up. We have shown in the 
present Paper that there is a similar hiatus when he attempts 
to pass from Intellect to Will. The continuity of his system 
depends on his showing that Intellect can pass into Will. If 
the reasoning of the present Paper be just, he has advanced 
nothing to show this. All the Will in the universe, then, 
remains on his system unaccounted for. In the next Paper I 
hope to show that his system is equally destitute of any trace 
of Conscience. " A System of Philosophy," an explanation 
of all that is in the universe, which does not account for any 


of the Mind, any of the Will, any of the Conscience, and yet 
claims to account for everything, must speedily lose its hold 
on intelligent men. 

And it seems to me that he has gone a long way, quite 
unintentionally of course, towards showing that the Will is 
free. As parts of his Philosophy form our most invulnerable 
defence against the attacks of Materialists and Idealists, so it 
may be that he has also supplied some of the most solid argu- 
ments for the Freedom of the Will. We have been assured 
by him that Mind and Matter are at the two opposite poles of 
being. They are x and y, two existences having no factors 
in common ; no one thing being found in the one which is 
also found in the other. I understand his rhetoric to mean or 
to imply that they are logical contradictories, whatever the 
the one has that the other has not. They form a perfect 
series of antitheses, and if they are at the opposite poles of 
being, as he says, I do not see how this conclusion can be 
avoided. If they h^,ve any one element in common, there 
surely they can unite, and that element makes a bridge over the 
mighty chasm that divides them. But Mr. Spencer says no 
such bridge is possible ; they are the Jews and Samaritans of 
the philosophical world, eschewing all intercourse with each 

Now if this conception be just, as it seems to me it is, 
surely it must be true that whatever is found in the one will 
not be found in the other. And beyond all question fixed 
causation does obtain in the world of Matter. Everything 
there is held in the iron grip of law. Thus it seems to me 
that such fixed causation cannot obtain in the realm of Mind, 
but that, as the logical contradictory of the law obtaining in 
Matter, the opposite rule, of Freedom, must obtain in the 
realm of Mind. 

It can readily be ascertained whether Mind and Matter are 
logical contradictories in all other things. Certainly they seem 
to be. Matter is extended; Mind is unextended. Matter 
is unintelligent ; Mind is intelligent ; Matter has space rela- 
tions and has weight ; Mind has no space relations and has no 
weight. Matter is capable of motion or of transit in space ; 
Mind, having no space relations, is incapable of motion. It 
seems to me the antitheses might go on ad infinitum. If, 
then, in every other conceivable category of thought Mind 
were the proved antithesis of Matter, that doctrine would 
have but a very precarious hold on a strong intelligence 
which asserted that in this one instance, viz., of bondage to 
fixed law, Mind and Matter were alike. One frail spider's 
web spanning the almost infinite chasm between Matter and 


Mind the frowning cliffs rising high on each side, needing 
the vision of an archangel to survey them, confronting each 
other in solemn isolation, and this one frail link alone binding 
them ! the idea well-nigh becomes incredible. If separated, 
as Mr. Spencer assures us, they are completely separated, they 
must be logical contradictories with no bond of union. 

This Philosophical Doctrine of the Freedom of the Will 
does not seem to me to be defended by the upholders of 
Revelation and of the Moral Law with anything approaching 
the zeal and fidelity that the magnitude of the matter demands. 
Kant may be said to have put forth the undivided energy of 
his keen and powerful intellect in order to establish the thesis 
of the Freedom or Autocraty of man's will, and to show that 
the whole Moral Law must stand or fall with it. He in effect 
binds up the two doctrines into one, and not unfrequently 
makes them synonymous. Thus he says, "We have now 
reduced the Idea of Morality to that of Freedom of Will."* 
Again, he says, <c Autonomy of Will is the alone foundation 
of Morality. "f and many other distinct statements, as well 
as the whole structure of the "Metaphysic of Ethics," go to 
show that, in his judgment, to deny Freedom to the Will was 
to make the idea of Morality impossible. He seems to me 
and it is a growing opinion in our day to have been one of 
those rare prophetic minds, ranking amongst the great men 
of all time who stand forth as the champions of eternal truth, 
whose glance sweeps down the centuries, and whose judgments 
express the thought of the All-wise God. Doubtless in his 
critical Philosophy Kant was mainly destructive, but in those 
of his works which are thrown up as bulwarks of the Moral 
Law, he seems to me to display a penetration and a power far 
beyond any mind of later times. No modest man can, I 
think, pit his judgment against Kant. Hamilton followed in 
his footsteps largely as his disciple, and he makes the same 
impressive declaration that Moral Liberty and Moral Obliga- 
tion must stand or fall together. He says, ' ( Virtue involves 
Liberty ;"J he says, " The possibility of Morality depends on 
the possibility of Liberty ; for if man be not a free agent he 
is not the author of his actions, and has, therefore, no respon- 
sibility, no moral personality at all." In addition to these 
solemn and weighty statements it is clear that he determined 
to found his whole metaphysical system on the moral canons, 

* Metfiphysic of Ethics, Calderwood's Ed., p. 59. 

f Ibid. p. 99. 

j Hamilton, Lectures on Metaphysics, vol. i. p. 27, 4th Ed. 

Ibid. p. 33. 


and that notable and noble parts of it are chiefly intellectual 
buttresses, thrown up to keep safe and intact the outworks of 
the Moral Law. He has examined all the intellectual anti- 
nomies, which Kant raised, but never solved, he has com- 
bined them all in one conception, magnificent in its sweep, 
startling in its originality the " Law of the Conditioned " 
and any one who accepts that Law has provided for him a for- 
tress of incalculable strength, within which the doctrines of 
moral liberty and moral obligation may be defended against all 
assailants. John Stuart Mill attacked that " Law of the Con- 
ditioned " in what may honestly be described as a ferocious 
style, for he saw how invincible it made the Theistic position ; 
but his poor little sophisms are now treated with the contempt 
they deserve. Mr. Spencer can be shown to have accepted as 
valid the main arguments which lead up to the l ' Law of the 
Conditioned," and it needs nothing more than a slight re- 
setting of the Hamiltonian thesis in order to make it invin- 
cible against all attacks. 

Kant and Hamilton are by this time almost proved to be of 
the prophetic order of men, for what they asserted to be a 
logical necessity has now actually come to pass. We just saw 
that they declared moral Liberty and moral obligation to be 
indissolubly united, and that the denial to man of Liberty 
must lead to the denial to him of moral obligation. Mr. 
Spencer's whole Philosophy is a startling commentary on this 
thesis ; he denies Liberty to man, and there is in his system 
no trace of moral obligation. He has lately proclaimed 
that the (< sense of duty or moral obligation is transi- 
tory/'* and that as civilisation progresses, man's nature 
will become more perfectly co-ordinated, needing no moral 
directions. No one who watches the currents of thought 
in our day which deny to man Freedom of Will can 
question that denial of moral obligation accompanies them 
to no small extent. The advocates of Determinism and Auto- 
matism can see instinctively that our moral instincts are op- 
posed to them, and that if these instincts remain in full force 
their theories cannot prevail ; as the doctrine of their school 
sinks into Materialism, its antagonism to all moral principle, 
all sense of right, all authority of conscience is at once more 
constant and more vehement ; and in the lowest stages it 
reaches a point where man is made to be only a helpless 
mechanism, all future retribution is derided as an old world 
dream, and the worst impulses of his sensual nature are un- 
blushingly defended. Thus, surveying the matter along the 

* Spencer, Data of Ethics, p. 127. 


whole line, from the noble utterances of men like Kant, to the 
refined yet negative morality of Mr. Spencer, and still on to 
men infinitely beneath him, mere human animals, who glory 
in their shame, the same truth meets us, that the denial to 
man of moral Liberty of perfect freedom to choose or reject 
either good or evil leads, of necessity, to the denial to him of 
moral obligation. Put upon him at once the honour and the re- 
sponsibility given him by his Creator ; then he must live like 
an immortal being, or be condemned by his conscience if he 
does not. Take from him this crown, he soon descends, and, in 
inferior natures, begins to wallow without blushing in the mire. 
It may be well to remark that the Philosophical doctrine of 
the Freedom of the Will by no means necessitates that heresy 
of Pelagianism, branded as false by the Universal Church, 
which teaches that man, by his own inherent strength of Will, 
without the aid of Divine grace, can arise and work out his 
own salvation. No man was more diametrically opposed to 
this heresy than Augustine, no man was its more uncom- 
promising antagonist, yet he himself held the Philosophical 
Doctrine of the Freedom of the Will. He says : " For who 
is there of us would say that by the sin of the first man free- 
will is utterly perished from mankind ? " * Archbishop Usher, 
again, was one of the stanchest upholders of the need man 
has of converting and renewing grace, yet he was a resolute 
champion of the Freedom of the Will. He says : " Freedom 
of Will we know doth as essentially belong unto a man as 
reason itself; and he that spoileth him of that power doth in 
effect make him a very beast." f We may hold that men are 
morally free, that they are the fashioners of their own moral 
character and the arbiters of their own destiny, and yet have 
the most profound sense that until a power comes into them 
from above, and supplements their feeble efforts by the flood- 
tide of a Divine energy, they never can arise and work out a 
righteous character. Where to draw the exact line between 
the Divine and the human working it may be hard to say, and, 
as it is of no practical importance, perhaps it is not well to 
attempt it. It is sufficient that we remain within the broad 
lines upon which the Church Universal is practically unani- 
mous, of the absolute need of the entrance into man of a 
Divine Spirit, who can refine and purify his Will, cleanse it 
from all earthly defilement, and lift it high into the regions of 

* Quis autem nostrum dicaf, quod priori hominis peccato perierit libenim 
p'bitrium de humano genere ? Cont. Pelag. lib. i. cap. 2. 

t Usher, Answer to a Jesuit on Free W'ill, 445 (Cambridge Ed. 1835). 


God's holiness, where it can still stretch onward to the moral 
infinity that then conies into view. This doctrine of the 
helplessness of man, and his need of Divine grace, by no 
means conflicts with the doctrine of the Freedom of his Will. 
Some of the Scotch theologians have, I think, confounded 
unjustly man's need of grace with the doctrines of philoso- 
phical necessity. To my mind the two are in entirely different 
regions. Man is free to take his own course, but, if he proudly 
rejects the help God offers him, he will find that all schemes 
of his own are unavailing, and that his weak arm cannot bear 
back the forces which urge him in a downward direction. 

Let us, then understand that in this question of the Free- 
dom or the reverse of the Will we are dealing with a matter 
of the greatest moral moment. If the will be free, then the 
moral nature of man at once comes into prominence ; the con- 
science is seen to be seated on the throne ; the awful moral 
sanctities are clearly revealed; the infinity of all questions 
connected with righteousness is made evident; the horizon 
which bounds our existence recedes before us, and we find our- 
selves placed as actors on the vast stage of the universe, fur- 
nished with helps and guides, but bidden to choose our own 
destiny, to take upon ourselves the solemn burdens of exis- 
tence, and to say whether our path through life shall be, first, 
the battle-field of a hero, then the exultation of a conqueror, 
then the aspirations and holiness of a saint, and shall finally 
carry us throned and triumphant to our coronation amidst the 
saints of God ; or whether that life-path shall be a misuse of 
opportunities, a despising of offered help, a mocking at the 
restraints of law, an intellectual selfishness, a gradual debase- 
ment, a final sinking into crimes forwhich no name can be found. 
Upwards or downwards man must go, and there seems an 
infinity in both directions. It behoves us all to choose the up- 
ward and happier path, knowing that we are quickly advancing 
to the last tribunal, where the secret action of every Will will 
be laid open, and all will be tried by just and universal Law. 

The CHAIRMAN (Kev. Preb. Row, M.A.). On the part of the meeting 
I have now to propose a vote of thanks to the author of this paper, a vote 
which I feel sure we shall all very cordially tender for the extremely clear, 
distinct, and effective manner in which he has met the entire question. 
(Hear.) Before sitting down I wish to make a few remarks, as I shall 
not be able to remain until the end of the meeting, this being the first 
evening during the last two years upon which I have ventured out of 
doors. I think the paper throughout is exceedingly clear, and that it has 
ably met the position assumed by Mr. Herbert Spencer. One thing which 


greatly surprises me is, that books like those of Mr. Spencer so utterly 
contradictory to common sense, and to the very first intuitions of our 
nature should have obtained the wide circulation which they have among a 
large circle, including many of the most powerful minds of our age. I have 
no hesitation in saying that the subject handled in this paper is the very 
central one of the present system of practical atheism. The great and all- 
important controversy at the present day centres around the efforts which 
a number of powerful intellects are making to confound between the material 
and the moral ; and, if it could possibly be established that this confusion 
does exist, and that the material dominates, from one end of God's 
universe to the other, then the paper abundantly shows that there is an 
end of all morality ; for unless the innermost intuitions of the mind are 
true when they tell us that if we are not free to do this or that, we can have 
no possible responsibility for the acts we do. (Hear.) It comes, therefore, 
to this, that the controversy lies very much within the limits of common 
sense. To tell me that for the evil I do I am not responsible, is in reality 
asking me not to see that gaslight now before me, when I am seeing it as 
plainly as possible. What gives a degree of plausibility to these speculations 
is the frequent use of a great number of hard words : the tendency 
to do this runs throughout the works of the whole of this class of 
writers. The number of these hard words is so great that I find my own 
intellect somewhat confused when endeavouring to read them, and I think 
that if the authors I refer to would only write in plainer English, their 
systems would very soon be absolutely exploded. When we are asked to 
believe that our personality is nothing but a mere succession of feelings, 
what is it that we are asked to accept ? Why, something which entirely 
contradicts the whole testimony of the human race from the moment man 
appeared as man, to the present hour. Those who maintain this view cannot 
express themselves in language without distinctly denying the theories they 
expound. This shows that there is something singularly absurd in the 
position they take. We have no certitude more certain than the perma- 
nency of the ego. To suppose that the whole experience of man from the 
commencement, both objectively and subjectively, is based on a simple 
delusion, would denote an amount of credulity exceeding anything that I can 
possibly conceive. But this is the result of the theories in question, not- 
withstanding the great names attached to them, that if they are accepted 
by the large body of mankind they will certainly end in subverting all sense 
of human responsibility. Evil then becomes merely a man's misfortune, 
not his sin ; and crime, insanity ; and the result will be that the sane portion 
of mankind will have to build a large number of asylums in which to place 
one half of their fellows, so as to save themselves from possible dangers. 
There is only one other point upon which I would touch I am bound to say 
that I cannot agree with the position which has been laid down to the effect 
that we can be philosophically free and at the same time theologically bound 
by necessity. I think that the position is hopelessly unmaintainable, that 
c 3 


a thing can be theologically true, and philosophically false, or the converse. 
I do not care for any abstract theories. I say freedom is a fact one of 
which we are directly conscious, and therefore one of our highest certitudes ; 
and therefore, I hold, it is a great error to say we can be philosophically free 
in one sense and theologically not so in another ; and although some great 
names may be mentioned in support of the proposition, my reply is that 
I do not care whose doctrine it is, it is certainly not the doctrine either 
of reason or of the New Testament. (Applause.) 

Rev. J. FISHER, D.D. According to the paper, at page 13, we are told that 
" mind and matter are at the two opposite poles of being " ; but that the 
author only means that they are objective and subjective sides of the same 
substance ; at any rate, it conies to that in the end. Two pages further on he 
says that Mr. Spencer denies liberty to man, and asserts that moral law must 
fade away out of the earth, and man will need no moral directions. In 
that case, of course, we must have the golden age. 

The CHAIRMAN. This is assumed in his last work. 

Dr. FISHER. On the fourth page Mr. Spencer is quoted as saying, 
" that the ego is something more than the aggregate of feelings 
and ideas" is an "illusion," and in the next sentence he speaks of man 
as subject to " psychical states ! " On the next page we find Mr. Spencer 
quoted as speaking on the subject of "psychical changes"; but surely if 
man, the ego, and the psychical states and changes, be the same things, where 
is the subject ? There is none. Mr. Spencer writes thus confusedly because 
he is a monist, using the language of a dualist. Monism cannot construct a 
language for itself. As regards freedom of the will, natural freedom is 
a ground of responsibility, and grace does not interfere with it. The will 
is the power of mind by which we choose aright ; but the exercise of the will 
is from the heart, and, as the heart. Will is the medium of active 
power, and operates according to the nature of the agent, and the nature of 
the agent is the source of power. What is needed to a good choice is an 
influence from God in the heart. A self determining will is an absurdity, 
for if the will move itself it is both cause and effect. Motive determines 
the will. The motive determining the will has a place in the understanding, 
and it is through the understanding, which is the key to the heart, that the 
will is moved. 

Rev. Preb. IRONS, D.D. I think the paper which has just been read is a 
very important one, and it is none the less so for the statement it contains, that 
this is the question of the age, and one which we as Christians have not, as 
yet, sufficiently attended to. (Hear.) There is no doubt that St. Augustine con- 
tributed to the stream of Christian thought, and it has scarcely settled down 
into a clear and healthy condition from his day to ours. There is truth in 
the statement of the essayist, that the Scotch philosophers, who have a great 
deal to answer for in the matter, were so much afraid of the doctrine of free 
will, that they absolutely practically denied it in the whole region, both of 
ethics and religion. I wholly deny that the grace which comes from God to 


assist the efforts of imperfect man, at all destroys human will. (Hear.) That it 
interferes with it I will admit, in some sense, as a matter of course. Why, 
otherwise, should it come at all ? But if it gives a man clearer knowledge, 
stronger powers, higher aspirations, that man is responsible for all he has 
so acquired. The doctrine of responsibility is grounded in our sense 
of retribution for all wrong that is done. I will grant very freely with all 
thankfulness to God, that in connexion with this doctrine of retribution, 
there is a sense that mediation between us and the judgment that is due to 
us is quite possible. A man does a wrong thing and fears the wrong he has 
done, but, at the same time, no man has put himself in this position without 
also having the feeling, that in some way or other some one will interfere. 
This interference we have, as Christians, in the mediation of Christ. How- 
ever, leaving this question of Calvinism and freedom of will and sense of 
retribution, and hope of mediation and intervention, I should like to go back 
for one moment to the beginning of the paper, and I promise that I will not 
detain you more than a minute or two. It is a matter of common sense that 
the ego precedes every action of every kind performed by a human being. 
Action is not possible until there is an ego to act ; and here we see the very 
blunder which pervades Mr. Herbert Spencer's philosophy. One is astounded 
to find that the same blunder has penetrated the whole of the materialistic 
mind of our age. They leave out the thought of this ego, which we are very 
properly told by Mr. Spencer goes before the action. But he afterwards 
tells us this ego is the result, or is identical with the circumstances in which 
we find ourselves the feelings which arise within us. He quite forgets that 
if there are feelings there must be an ego to feel. Whose feelings are they ? 
They are the feelings of the ego of the man. And this leads me to object 
in the strongest way to the manner in which Mr. Herbert Spencer, and al- 
most all of us, are in the habit of using'popular abstract terms as though they 
were entities. Men say they are moved by motives. I may contemplate a 
certain thing and may consider it ; but the motive does not move me. It is 
I who move in the whole matter. Men speak of their having a memory. I 
have not one. I am thankful to say, I remember. (Hear, hear.) I have 
legs, but I should not say they consist of walking and running : the walking 
and running are actions of the limbs set in motion by the ego. In every way 
we are injuring ourselves by abstract ideas. I do not deny that they are of 
great usefulness ; as Berkeley pointed out, as instruments of thought they are 
absolutely necessary. Some of them are but collective terms. When we 
speak of a man , we use a word which is a general term, to describe what we 
mean, whether a white, a red, or a black man. It is a general term to 
describe the object we have in view. Every one knows what I mean in a 
general way, if I say, " as I came to this room to-night I met a man." You 
would not say I was speaking incorrectly if I did not describe how tall he 
was, nor how he was dressed, nor what nation he was of, whether, for instance, 
he was a Frenchman or a Dutchman. These general abstract terms are both 
useful and necessary for the common purposes of the language. There is also 


a higher type of abstract words, and it is needless to pretend that these 
abstract ideas are entities existing apart from us, when they are the descrip- 
tions of those actions which we ourselves perform, and not our wills, our 
memories, or our reflections. I will ; I remember ; I reflect ; but do not tell 
me that I use my memory ; that makes a third party. I am not conscious 
of anything of the kind, nor do I believe that anybody in this room is. I 
know that some gentlemen, and, I may say, some ladies, have very strong 
wills. (Laughter.) But that means simply that they can will very strongly, 
and no one can mix in the society of either sex without finding that the in- 
dividual can will. But to take it for granted that he has something in 
addition to himself which does the business of willing, is to me wholly un- 
philosophical ; and this, to my mind, is the prevailing blunder of Mr. Herbert 
Spencer, et hoc genus omne. (Applause.) 

The CHAIRMAN. There is no doubt that much confusion is caused by 
people saying that by freedom of will it is meant that a human being can 
do anything he pleases. I will only say in reference to what has been said 
by Dr. Irons, the great Truth was known in the days of Abraham, " Shall 
not the judge of all the earth do right ? " 

Professor O'DELL. I fully appreciate the manner in which Mr. 
Ground has, throughout his paper, kept to the subject under discus- 
sion, and kept clear of theological matter. Mr. Herbert Spencer has 
challenged us in regard to the question of the will, and on reading his works, 
the conclusion I have come to from time to time is that his statements are 
very much opposed to our universal experience, especially in regard to 
the subject before us to-night. If we appeal to our experience 
concerning the will, I think we shall be able to obtain more 
truthful information than we can derive from what has been written by Mr. 
Herbert Spencer. In considering the question, " Is the will free ? " let us 
ask ourselves can we go to the right or to the left ? Can we live or die ? I 
can do any or either of these things. I can, if I choose to do so, act in 
opposition to my own intelligence, which tells me certain things, and that one 
course is wise and another foolish. We all know that we can go directly 
contrary to that which we believe to be right, and we know also that highly 
intelligent and cultured men have acted in opposition to their own reason. 
There have been men who have been educated in the highest colleges, who 
have acted in the basest manner, thus showing that they had wills which 
could deprave them to the lowest depths in direct negation of all the cul- 
ture they had received. On the other hand, we are also aware that there 
have been men reared in the lowest haunts of vice and misery, who have 
shown their freedom of will in an entirely different direction. Quite inde- 
pendently of the teaching they have had, they have exercised their wills in 
opposition to all evil influences. Again, we have the fact that there are men 
who will not allow their wills to be bound by laws, as Mr. Herbert Spencer 
must at least acknowledge, men who refuse to obey the laws of their 
country, laws the breaking of which brings immediate punishment upon 


them, and in doing this they act in opposition to their judgment and to 
every good influence brought to bear upon them. Moreover, I would say it 
is not only in opposition to reason and reflection, and to the laws of the 
country, and without any sufficient inducement ; but men are also known to 
assert their wills in opposition to the laws of God, which they acknowledge 
and believe to be right and true. Men having full belief in the pains and 
rewards of eternity, have, nevertheless, gone in entire opposition to that belief, 
thereby proving that, universally, the will is absolutely free. (Hear.) Mr. 
Herbert Spencer is spoken of as a man of philosophic grasp and of clear 
scientific conception. All I wish to say is this, that if I were to take Mr. 
Herbert Spencer's assertions as entitled to my fullest credence, I could not 
believe in Christianity in other words, I hold that it requires more faith to 
believe in Mr. Herbert Spencer, than to believe in Christianity. 

Mr. W. GRIFFITH. I think we are very much indebted to the author of 
the paper for having proved false or erroneous some of the arguments of Mr. 
Herbert Spencer. We need not refer to the Spencerian theory to understand the 
necessitarian view. Whoever will look into the works of Hume and Priestley 
will fully understand that line of thought. They asserted that the con- 
nexion between motive and action is similar to that of cause and effect in 
physics ; that human actions are the result, not of choice, and that they are 
the sequences of physical causes, not the consequences of deliberate reason. 
Even those who in theory contend for the doctrine of necessity, in practice 
ignore it. Was Mr. Herbert Spencer a mere automaton when reading 
previous philosophical authors ? Did he exercise no deliberation when he 
composed his essays 1 And when he had selected a publisher to print and 
circulate his opinions, were each and all of these processes the mere result of 
a fortuitous concurrence of material atoms ? 

If we rightly define the word law, we shall be able to understand all 
the fallacies which pervade the arguments of Mr. Spencer, and which 
have been refuted by the author of this paper. Then it will not be 
requisite to follow those arguments seriatim. How do we define what 
we mean by the word " law " ? Is it a mere sequence of effect ? Is that 
a true proposition ? Surely not. There are laws physical and laws 
moral. The former must take effect ; the latter ought to be obeyed. 
The latter, when defined according to the nature of things, suppose dis- 
obedience possible, and postulate the freedom of the will. Most sound 
writers on morals and jurisprudence will tell you that law is the expression 
of the will of the law-giver enforced, by some sanction, upon the moral 
being. If you once admit this definition of law the whole scheme of 
Spencer falls to the ground, and needs no further exertion to destroy it. 
But destruction is not construction. It is easy to criticise and find fault with 
anything ; but we ought to consider what shall we substitute in its place. 

We have to establish, as a matter of fact, that the will is free. 
The mere destruction of Mr. Spencer's theory by Mr. Ground hardly 
establishes the positive side of the question. Dr. Irons appealed 


with great force to the feelings of the human mind, and, undoubtedly, 
there is a great deal in what he said. That is one argument in support 
of freedom of the will. But there are others. We may say, for instance, 
that every language proceeds on the supposition of the freedom of the will. 
How do you explain those words in the English language which are used to 
signify determination, choice, or judgment, without supposing freedom 
of choice and ability to judge and determine ? And if we turn to other 
languages we shall find that it is the same in the French, German, Greek, or 
Hebrew, as it is with us. In fact, the whole consensus of States and 
peoples, who have and do use language, supports the conclusion that 
language supposes freedom of will. Again, to appeal to other facts 
I do not wish to enter on the theological arguments founded upon 
prayer and praying to the Supreme Being, because we are discussing 
the more scientific aspect of the question, and it is well to lay aside 
for a moment the theological but, when we wish to influence an 
angry man, do we not entreat him ? When a father wishes to persuade 
his child, does he not use the arguments of persuasion, and does he not, 
in following such a course, presuppose freedom of will in the child 
he seeks to persuade ? Again, in politics also, what do we mean by 
a petition or prayer to Parliament ? Is not that a process intended to influence 
the intelligence of the representatives of the nation ? And what is meant by 
sending those representatives to Parliament, but that they are to exercise 
their intelligence and their wills for the benefit of the nation ? 

Mr. Herbert Spencer has advanced somewhat beyond Mr. Hume and 
Mr. Priestley. He has, with great plausibility, told us that there are 
certain nerve currents, and that these are evidenced in what he calls 
nervous energy and force. This is perfectly true : there is, doubtless, 
such a thing as nervous energy, and such a thing as force, which are 
exhibited in the raising of the hand, the movement of the foot, or in 
any action of the body. In all this he has surpassed Hume and Priestley, 
but after all he has not established anything as to this nervous energy 
which Dr. Carpenter and other physiologists had not taught. (Hear, 
hear.) To support his other and more dangerous tenets he has appealed in 
terms of some eloquence to the consciousness of each individual. But 
individuals differ and disagree. Whose consciousness shall we take ? Our 
own is preferable to that of another man's, especially when, like Mr. Spencer, 
he lowers us in the scale of moral beiags. But the question being as to the 
nature of men in general, must be determined by the voice of preponderating 
testimony. But how, it may be asked, are the suffrages to be collected ? In 
every civilised nation the induction has been already made, the suffrages 
taken ; the case has been tried, and the decision is on record ; the verdict has 
been given without reference to the controversy in dispute. 

What, let me ask, is the object of Parliament in making a law ? What 
is in the mind of the Legislature when it passes a law for the benefit of the 
nation at large ? Does it not forbid, condemn, and impose a punishment for 


the transgression of that law, on the supposition that men and women, as a 
rule, individually possess self-control and the power of choosing the good 
and rejecting the evil ? Being a practising barrister, I know, we all know 
what is frequently put forward as the defence of those who have broken the 
law. When a criminal is put on his trial for a particular offence, how often 
does he plead that he has committed it by accident or mistake or uninten- 
tionally, that he had no guilty mind. And the defence of accident is 
admitted. For instance, if a person, while defending his house against a 
robber, shoots his own servant when he intends to shoot the burglar, he 
is held not to be guilty of murder. He exercises his will in shooting, but 
there is no vice in what he does. In doing what he had a legal right to do 
he has unwittingly done what he did not mean to do. There is a defect in 
the use of the will. Then, if you take the case of an infant ; he may be 
put on his trial, but unless the understanding has been developed, "he," says 
the law, " ought to be, as a matter of course, acquitted ; because he is not 
held to be responsible until he has reached years of discretion." Again, take 
the case of a lunatic ; he is acquitted on its being shown that there is a 
defect of the understanding, and that he is not able rightly to exercise the 
will. It is there held that there is no moral, or at least no legal, vice in the will. 
All these instances go to prove that the administration of the law proceeds 
on the supposition that there is freedom of the will, and that the accused is 
punishable for its improper exercise. Again, we must recollect that this is 
not merely the state of the law in England. The French laws proceed on 
the same line ; so also do those of Germany and other European states. 
In fact, the testimony of the whole civilised world shows that the freedom 
of the will is looked upon a.s essential to guilt, and no one is punished unless 
that freedom exists. I will but mention the testimony of conscience, and 
the evidence derived from that. If we look to ourselves and remember what 
have been our own failings in the past experiences of our lives, we shall, as 
individuals, admit at once that we have had freedom to choose the right and 
avoid the wrong. Passing to the second part of the subject, I must say that 
to some extent I agree with Dr. Irons in his criticisms on the statements 
that have been made respecting the theological and moral view of freedom 
of will. I think it has been conclusively proved, not only that the 
theory of Mr. Herbert Spencer is unstable, but also, as a matter of 
fact, that freedom of will does exist, although it is true that great writers, 
such as Augustine, have taken up the theological question, and have 
somewhat obscured the doctrines of Christianity thereby. But Augustine 
was not consistent. I think Mr. Ground is correct in saying that Augustine 
asked how can there be guilt if there is no freedom of the will ? But at 
another period of his life he wrote as if he looked on grace as irresistible, and 
held that freedom of the will did not exist. But the question is,' 
What is Christianity ? and not, What were the views of St. Augustine ? 
We can recur to the original record, and we find St. Paul asserts 
not only the supremacy of Divine grace, but also the freedom of the 


will. He tells us in the Epistle to the Philippians, ii. 12 and 13, that we 
are to " work out our own salvation," and at the same time he says : 
" It is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good 
pleasure." This single text illustrates in a remarkable way the complex 
problem that may be raised as to the operations of the grace of God and the 
freedom of the will at the same time. (Applause.) 

Mr. J. ENMORE JONES. It seems to me that Mr. Herbert Spencer has in 
his mind only two facts psychical and physical, and that his argument is 
grounded simply on these, which, in theological terms, we call the soul and 
the body. He seems to have lost sight of one other element. Most, if not 
all of us are often conscious of impulses and strength not our own, and we 
come as Christians to the contemplation of the three great powers we are told 
of by the Apostle body, soul, and spirit, it appears to me that this third 
power is a power which is not recognised by Mr. Herbert Spencer. I think 
that if this power were better defined, we should get rid of a great deal of 
the difficulty which has hitherto helped to obscure the matter. I have 
referred to this fact, so as to point out what I think has been very much 
overlooked, namely, that this power which we call spirit, has been especially 
created in us by the Deity and connected with the two other powers the 
soul and body. The soul is, as Mr. Herbert Spencer says, attached to the 
body, and intermingles and works with it in a mysterious way ; but I say 
that these two are acted upon so as to produce visible effect, by the spirit, 
which Mr. Herbert Spencer has not alluded to. 

Kev. F. N. OXENHAM. I suppose it will be admitted that in examining 
any philosophical problem, if we are in search of the truth, we ought not to 
allow any weight to supposed consequences. I mean that we should not 
permit ourselves to be at all influenced towards rejecting or towards accepting 
any theory, because it involves, or appears to involve, some consequence 
which we object to, or which we welcome. This, I suppose, we should all 
admit as a general rule. But, on the other hand, if a theory is put before 
us which obviously carries with it the negation of any well-known and 
indisputable truth, then we are justified in saying, " inasmuch as this theory 
necessarily involves the denial of what we know to be true, we do not care 
any further to inquire into it. It contradicts what is certainly true, and 
therefore it must be false." Consequently, when we come across a theory 
which is admitted to be contradicted by the evidence, not of one language 
only, but of all languages, by the accordant evidence of all mankind in 
every country and of every age, by the establishment of every civilised 
government ever known (for all governments are constructed on the theory 
that man is a responsible being, and can do, or abstain from doing such 
things as are enjoined, or forbidden : the belief that this is so is evidenced 
by every law that was ever made), when, I say, we come across a theory 
thus irreconcilably at variance with the universal testimony of mankind, 
we cannot justly be accused of prejudice if we put it aside, saying that 
we do not care to inquire into it. It ig obviously false, being at variance 


with an undenied and undeniable truth. Now it seems to me that the 
tendency of Mr. Herbert Spencer's argument is not to disprove the freedom 
of the will, but simply to ignore that there is such a thing as will at all. 
He is really arguing for the thesis, that our desires are not free : aud in 
showing this, he appears to think that he has shown that our will is not free. 
Our desires, he asserts, are the joint result of impulses over which we have 
little or no command. He brings much evidence to show the truth of 
this thesis, which we have no desire to question ; and then, having proved 
this, he imagines that he has disposed of what he calls " the dogma of free 
will." " The real proposition" he says, " involved in the dogma, of free 
will is, that every one is at liberty to desire or not to desire." This is 
a complete misconception. The question is not whether we are free to 
desire or not to desire, but whether we are free to follow our desires or not 
to follow them. Mr. Spencer's assumption that will is nothing more than 
the result of those forces which produce natural desire, is an assumption not 
only without evidence to support it, but in the teeth of evidence which denies 
it. I cannot desire to be hanged, or shot, or suffocated, or to undergo any 
great pain ; but I can will, I can choose to undergo any of these things. My 
desire to do a thing or not to do it, may be, I admit, simply an effort of 
nature beyond my control, the result of the joint action of various involuntary 
impulses, as Mr. Herbert Spencer has very clearly denned it. We do not 
quarrel with him for saying that our desires are the mere outcome of these 
natural impulses ; but we do quarrel with him for assuming that our will 
has the same origin and nothing more. And when he jumps to the conclu- 
sion that the will is not free because the natural desires are not free, we are 
compelled to pull him up, and to protest that such a conclusion is wholly 
unwarrantable. It is, in short, simply ignoring that there is any such thing 
as will. I shall not, however, dwell farther on this, as Dr. Irons has already 
so clearly reminded us what is the true character of the will as one most im- 
portant element in the ego : but I wished to call attention to the fact that Mr. 
Spencer is not really arguing against the freedom" of the will ; he is arguing 
against the freedom of the desires, and then assuming that the freedom of the 
will is by the same arguments disproved. (Applause.) 

Rev. C. L. ENGSTROM. Thirteen or fourteen years ago, when I was reading 
the Duke of Argyll's book, " The Eeign of Law," I saw what every one must 
see who gives the subject sufficient consideration, that the mind is subject 
to law as well as the body, and I think that unless we grasp this thought we 
cannot understand Mr. Herbert Spencer's argument. Further, we are wrong, 
I think, if we regard the (free) will as a separate originating force ; the 
mistake seems to arise from the use of the word will in two entirely different 
senses. A strong will really indicates a strong mental nature, especially in 
regard to the desires, but free will is the ability to choose which of two or 
more existing forces shall come into operation. A strong will is a magnificent 
force directed by free will for good or for evil. The responsibility rests with 
the free will, though the strong will, which is merely an instrument in its 


hands, gets the blame when it is misdirected. But not to dwell overmuch 
on this magnificent, but subject force, we ought, as it seems to me, to hold 
that above the body and the mind, which consist, according to the best 
philosophers, of three departments feelings, ideas, and desires there reigns 
supreme a thing called the (free) will, and that that free will has the power in 
the case of every human being of directing actual forces, whether physical 
or psychical. It is a directing power and not a creative power resembling 
the pointsman, who sees a railway engine hurrying along a line, and by the 
simple movement of a lever, gives it that direction which secures the safety 
of the train. And so all through the life of the human being this will of 
ours (most free, when voluntarily subordinating itself to the higher Will of 
the Creator) directs our course for good or evil, it being in accordance with 
the way in which the will operates within us that we become good or 
bad. From the earliest moment of conscious choice we are admitting or 
excluding, fostering or destroying, good feelings or bad feelings, good ideas 
or bad ideas, good desires or bad desires, and side by side exalting or 
depressing the higher (psychical) or the lower (physical) natures, and in the 
case of a Christian welcoming or driving away the Holy Spirit of God, or 
the arch enemy. Thus from moment to moment we are weaving into that 
nature and character, with which we started on our course, new threads, and 
thus we by free will change the stream of our tendencies, and become what 
we are heavenly, Christian, Godlike, or earthly, sensual, devilish. (Hear.) 
Rev. W. D. GROUND. I thank you all very much for the kind attention 
you have given to my paper. When I see the notes of this discussion, 
I shall think them over and add what I may deem it best to say. But let 
us all clearly understand that in this matter, although we need not accept 
the philosophical doctrine of necessarianism, we ought, as devout Christians, 
to accept the great doctrine of grace. I think the remarks made by 
Mr. Enmore Jones may help us at least to an illustration of the matter. 
He spoke of the inspiration, I cannot call it anything else, which occa- 
sionally comes upon us. Now it seems to me that, in much the same way, 
a power which we receive from above appears to come behind the will, when 
we have placed the will in a right direction, which power acts like a breath 
or afflatus, bearing us on towards divine thoughts and desires. This seems 
to me the action of divine grace. But at the same time I think that the 
assertion of man's need of such grace is consistent with the maintenance to 
the fullest extent of the philosophical doctrine of the freedom of the will ; 
and that it is impossible to deny this freedom of the will, and yet to defend 
successfully man's moral responsibility. This is the great citadel we must 
maintain at all cost. We must say that the sense implanted within us, 
which tells us we are free and uncontrolled, is the deepest and truest part 
of our being, and nothing else must be allowed to usurp its place. No 
doubt there are intellectual difficulties in holding the theory of moral 
liberty. For myself I accept heartily Hamilton's " Law of the Con- 
ditioned," which, I hold, sweeps away all the difficulties, establishes reason 


on a rock which cannot be shaken, and provides an impregnable fortress 
for all the doctrines which contain the philosophy of moral obligation. 
The meeting was then adjourned. 


I look upon both this and the former paper contributed by Mr. Ground as 
very valuable contributions to the literature of the Victoria Institute. In 
the present one he seems to me to have quite correctly pointed out the 
fallacy which pervades Mr. Herbert Spencer's system of psychology, namely, 
his making the ego to be nothing but the aggregate of feelings and ideas, 
existing at each moment. "Where or in what such ideas and feelings exist, 
is a question to which Mr. Spencer does not supply us with a satisfactory 
answer. He does not, of course, mean all ideas and feelings throughout the 
universe, inasmuch as these consist of innumerable aggregates ; and if he 
means those belonging to any one person, he is not consistent with himself, 
inasmuch as, on his theory, there is no such thing as personality in any 
intelligible sense of the word. His view would destroy the ego altogether. 
For who can guarantee that the aggregate of ideas and feelings at any one 
moment will be the same as at another ? In fact, this aggregate is ever- 
varying. I may be thinking of one subject at one moment and of another 
at another. I may be glad now, and sorry a few moments hence. In 
short, my state, i.e., the aggregate of my ideas and feelings, may at any 
instant be quite different, nay, opposite, to what it was at the instant imme- 
diately preceding. Indeed, it is scarcely possible, on Mr. Spencer's prin- 
ciples, to express oneself correctly on this subject. For when I say, " I may 
be glad or sorry," or when I speak of the aggregate of my feelings, &c., an 
ego distinct from those ideas and feelings is necessarily implied ; nor could I 
express my meaning intelligibly without implying it. Mr. Spencer himself, 
as Mr. Ground has observed, although his language is most carefully chosen, 
cannot help, in one passage, speaking of " the subject of such psychical 
changes," &c., although he does not admit that there is any subject in which 
such changes could take place. In short, with all his ingenuity, he cannot 
get over the fact that feeling cannot take place unless there be something 
which feels, nor can thought be exercised unless there be something which 
thinks. As well might we assert that there may be motion without any- 
thing moving or being moved. Thus ideas and feelings necessarily imply 
an ego which perceives and feels, and which, at the same time, is distinct 
from perception and feeling, as being the subject of which these are states 
or accidents. Well may Mr. Ground say that the fiercest assailant of 
Berkeley appears here possessed of a double portion of his spirit. -In. fact, in 
asserting that the ego is but an aggregate of ideas and feelings, he goes as far 
as Hume, who did much to explode Berkeley's views (though such was not his 


intention) by showing the consequences to which they lead, when logically 
carried out. Berkeley held that the only realities are Mind and Ideas, the 
former being the vehicle of the latter. Hume saw no necessity for the 
vehicle, considering that Ideas do not require such ; and between his theory 
and that of Mr. Spencer it is not easy to see any difference. Berkeley 
imagined that his theory gave the death-blow to materialism, as, indeed, the 
denial of the existence of Matter would, at first sight, appear to do. Yet 
here we have Mr. Spencer, the prince of materialists, actually carrying 
Berkeley's views to an extreme never contemplated by their propounder. 

Mr. Ground has done good service in pointing out the distinction between 
the metaphysical and the theological doctrines respecting the human will. 
As in the one, so in the other, there are various shades of opinion, the theo- 
logians believing that their views are in accordance with the Scriptures, 
while the metaphysicians consider theirs to be such as Reason discovers. 
The various views prevalent among theologians divide conveniently into 
three primary ones: 1, that of the Pelagians, who deny that the descendants 
of Adam and Eve are born with a nature prone to sin, and who, conse- 
quently, look upon all mankind as morally free, requiring no spiritual aid to 
counteract the allurements of " the world, the flesh, and the devil ; " 2, that 
of those who believe that all are born with the taint of original sin, and 
without moral freedom until divine grace confers it upon them by restoring 
them to that "image of God" which was lost to man through the Fall ; and 
that, when they are thus restored, they are free either to yield themselves to 
the divine influence or resist it, as their will may determine ; and, 3, that of 
those who, agreeing with the last-mentioned class in denying moral freedom 
to those unaided by grace, yet differ with them as to the effect of grace on 
the minds of those to whom it has once been imparted. Instead of holding 
that men are free to accept or reject spiritual influences, they believe that 
grace, once given, is irresistible, and that they to whom it is imparted, 
although still subject to sins and imperfections, will never be allowed to fall 
away finally and be lost. And inasmuch as the world, and even the Chris- 
tian Church, contains many who show no symptoms of that improvement of 
character which is a mark of divine grace, it is almost a necessary corollary 
from this third division ef doctrine that grace is not offered to all, and that 
many are left in that helpless and enslaved state from which nothing that 
they can do will save them. And such, accordingly, is the view adopted by 
most of those who hold grace to be irresistible. 

The question, Which of these three theological views is the most conform- 
able to Scripture, is one of pure theology, and it would, as I conceive, be out 
of place to discuss it in these pages. It is more to the point to observe that 
that they all belong to a region quite apart from the metaphysical question. 
The most strenuous asserter of Free Will in the theological sense, the 
Pelagian, might, without inconsistency (however untruly), deny it with Mr. 
Spencer in the metaphysical sense. All that the Pelagian cares to assert is 
that all men are born free from original sin, and do not require divine aid to 


keep them from offending God. It is enough for him, therefore, that the 
will should be uncontrolled, either by sinful propensities on the one hand, 
or by spiritual influences on the other. This conceded, it is a matter of 
indifference to him whether, as a metaphysical tenet, the relation of the will 
to the brain- molecules be held to be that of master or slave. He denies 
original sin. To the metaphysician of Mr. Spencer's school it is a matter of 
no importance whether he does or no. It is a question into which the latter 
does not enter. He considers us mere machines, unable to direct or control 
our wills, which are the slaves of mechanical law ; and it is nothing to him 
whether the impelling power is terrestrial or celestial. 


(Principal of St. Aidan's College.) 

Thanks for sending me proof of Mr. Ground's paper. I wish I could be 
present at the discussion of it. It seems to me most important that the 
tendencies of Determinism current in some of the philosophical and scientific 
literature of the day should be strenuously opposed by philosophical argu- 
ments as well as by theological teaching. 

I think that Mr. Ground has shown, clearly and temperately, the 
thoroughly unsatisfactory nature of Mr. H. Spencer's reasoning, in the 
extracts quoted. 

Mr. Spencer refuses to take into account one side of the dual deliverance 
of consciousness. He reduces all his calculations to the standard of Matter, 
for, in spite of his language about Mind, he does in effect make Mind a pro- 
duct of Matter. He regards man as a bundle of transitory psychical con- 
ditions with no ego, as the subject of the mental phenomena, and yet he 
regards the phenomena as real. 

He seems to treat of our consciousness as if it were not inseparable from 
self- consciousness. He argues, in fact, that this self- consciousness (by which 
surely we must mean consciousness of a freedom to will in a certain measure) 
is an " illusion "; and that instead of an individual power to choose, or refuse, 
certain lines of action, our "composite psychical state," in which we only 
imagine that we are exercising any personal volition, is a predetermined 
product of an "infinitude of previous experiences registered in (man's) 
nervous structure, co-operating with the immediate impressions on his 

Mr. Ground has clearly shown how Mr. Spencer contradicts himself in 
speaking of " the subject " of psychical changes, while he practically denies 
that there is any such subject. 

No one can make a thorough philosophical estimate of human nature who 
ignores the personal side of the original " deliverance of consciousness." The 
"Jam "of man lies at the root of all conscious exercise of intelligence, 


emotion, choice ; and you cannot theorise away this positive factor into a 
mere mystical zero, any more than you can get rid of the great primal I AM 
by refusing to think of Him as knowable. 

It is by means of volitions that a man is most directly conscious of his 
own personality. He knows that he can resist certain impulses and inclina- 
tions ; that he can refuse to do what he is commanded to do by others, or 
tempted to do by some motive to which his Eeason or Judgment does not 
assent. Conscious of this freedom (for freedom it is, however it may be 
ultimately limited by Law or moulded by a higher Will), man feels himself 
to be a responsible agent. Without ii, he would not be man. 

The philosopher, metaphysical or ethical, must, if he honestly take into 
account all phenomena, treat the existence of free will in man as a funda- 
mental truth. The theologian has another question to deal with (though it 
is very much bound up with the broader philosophical one) when he in- 
quires into the amount of moral strength, or extent of moral helplessness, 
found in the human will, after it has been once perverted by disobedience 
to Divine Law. 

The metaphysical postulate is, that Man's Will is free : the ethical axiom 
is, that Man is responsible for what he does ; the teaching of the Christian 
religion is, that Man's Will, perverted and enfeebled for good by sin, is 
by God's grace restored to the highest condition of freedom, where the 
Divine Will and the Human Will concur, and in the service of God man 
finds his perfect freedom. 


I have now read with extreme care, many times over, the remarks made 
by the various speakers, and the notes since appended by Lord O'Neill and 
Canon Saumarez Smith. The whole forms, I think, an instructive com- 
mentary on the unity in variety which marks those who think alike on the 
deepest and most formative conceptions. There is one spirit dwelling in all, 
the differences are only superficial, the unity is deep and structural. 
Necessarily from eleven minds united we get a larger, and more complete 
view of the full-orbed truth than can be obtained by any one mind. As the 
chairman and several of the speakers agree that the Freedom of the Will is 
the one point wherein the upholders of Revelation and the Moral Law clash 
most distinctly, and in irreconcileable antagonism, with the advocates of 
Determinism and Automatism, I trust that the importance of the subject 
will justify me if I attempt to reduce to a consistent logical unity what has 
been contributed by all who have taken part in the discussion. Truth is 
one, it is the intellectual expression of the one God ; all his servants have 
broken glimpses of the full-orbed idea ; what one lacks another supplies. 
Let us then try to blend all into one clear and luminous image. We all are 


agreed that the ego is an entity, the subject of its various states, which states, 
for convenience, we classify into intellect, emotions, desires, conscience, and 
will. Two (Dr. Irons and Canon Saumarez Smith) point out very justly 
that the ego, as the centre and seat of personality, is the active and deter- 
mining power, holding in control all the faculties. Lord O'Neill, Preben- 
dary Row, and others, show that to deny the existence of this ego is to deny 
the central fact of consciousness, on which consciousness all our knowledge 
founds. We all again agree that this ego has various desires, which clash 
one with another, and one (Rev. F. N. Oxenham) points out that Mr. 
Spencer's reasoning is justified, if there are only desires in us. But then we 
all assert that there is a power in us which rides above and controls the 
desires. Canon Saumarez Smith shows that it is the consciousness of this 
power which most distinctly calls up the sense of personality. Examining the 
nature of this power, the Rev. 0. L. Engstrom points out that its chief office 
is directive, and not creative, pointing out a line to be taken, and not a Svvapic 
which moves along that line ; and Mr. Enruore Jones fits it with this by 
reminding us that when our will has indicated the direction to be taken, a 
breath or afflatus sometimes comes upon us, which is like a wind swelling 
out our sails, and bearing us on in the direction to which we have made the 
prow of our ship to point. Now, a power which is directive is only an 
executive ; it simply points out the way to be taken, and it needs the guidance 
of other forces, if, indeed, it be guided by intelligence at all. This intelligence 
we all assert. (Any one who says he is not intelligent probably speaks the 
truth.) But we all agree that this directive power in us is free ; that it is 
under the supreme control of the ego. But being free, and able to steer any 
whither, it needs some object on which the eye can be fixed, which object, as 
Dr. Fisher reminds us, is what we call the determining motive. The motive 
chosen, he also says, is at once the outcome and index of the moral state. 
Dr. Irons, again, reminds us that the motive is only an incitement to action ; 
it does not move us, it is the ego that is the moving force. Motive is only 
the object on which the ego has fixed, and it can no more move us than the 
pole-star can move the sailor who steers by it. Asserting, as we all do, that 
the ego has freedom of choice, Mr. W. Griffiths contributes valuable and 
weighty arguments in support of the proposition. The system of juris- 
prudence in all countries of the globe, he shows, implies it, and the distinc- 
tion drawn between unintentional wrong, wrong committed by infants or 
lunatics, and wrong committed by criminals, shows clearly that all human 
jurisprudence makes intent or motive to be the essential factor in deciding 
the moral quality of an action. Professor O'Dell then shows that the extent 
of this freedom is unlimited, and that not even the tremendous penalty of 
eternal destruction can supply motive sufficient to move the will of some. 
We all agree that there is a power in us called conscience, which claims the 
right to decide the motives which we choose to rule us, and that on disobeying 
this power we incur the condemnation called guilt. The Rev. C. L. Engstrom 
then puts the climax on the metaphysical argument by showing that we reap 

as we have sown, we are changed into the shape of the motive we have 
chosen to rule us. 

We come next to the bearing of the question on theological truths. We 
all hold that although man is free, he has yet not strength, of himself, to 
choose the right and the holy. This inability seems to me explained by the 
two truths urged by the Rev. C. L. Engstrom and Mr. Enmore Jones. The 
first shows that the will is directive. Therefore, willingly yielding to the gentle 
pressure of the good spirit, a man may himself fix his direction towards good. 
But this mere direction has no dynamical force, it is only something which 
can point. Behind this directing element, then, a power in the nature of an 
energy, or a dvvafiic, may come, which can fill out the directing will with a 
heavenly power, and bear it onward, in the direction it has chosen, towards 
the embodied motive which it has selected to rule. This has seemed to me 
for some years the philosophical reconciliation of the two counter-truths of 
man's freedom and responsibility (growing, as Prebendary Row remarks, out 
of the very centre of the moral character of God), and of man's need of 
divine grace, laying the axe at the root of all human pride, and bidding each 
one of us remember that we are only empty vessels, which, to be of any use, 
the divine fulness must fill. I think this welds into a coherent logical unity 
the substance of what has been said. 

Lord O'Neill's closing remarks are very interesting and suggestive. 









6g tfje Enstttutr) 




S. AFRICA : JUTA & Co., Cape Town. 



F.G.S., Woodwardian Professor of Geology, Cambridge. 

"1VTOW and then it falls to our lot to find an old MS. which 
JL.I throws a flood of light upon some obscure part of 
history. It had been put aside, buried under a heap of 
documents of more immediate importance, forgotten till some 
accident exposed it, some more careful eye caught sight of 
it, some more experienced judgment recognised its interest. 

Such to the geologist is a cave. 

He runs his eye over the contents ; they may be of little 
value, or may settle what has long been a matter of speculation 
or of controversy. They may be a record of the household 
consumption of some wild beast in his castle ; they may tell of 
the ancient conflict of forces of nature now at rest ; or they 
may derive their chief interest from the character of the 
material on which the record is preserved. 

But the MS. might be passed over, or not read aright, 
if the discoverer be no paleographer. 

So the observer may arrive at very wrong conclusions as to 
the age and history of a cave, unless he be familiar with the 
operations of nature which form and fill such caves. This, 
then, is the point on which I invite discussion this evening : 
The formation of caves and cave-deposits, with references to 
some of the more interesting of those which have been 

To arrange our subject, I would first notice that there 
are artificial as well as natural caves, and many natural caves 


modified by man. In quite recent times, the soft New 
Red Sandstone lias 'been scooped out into cells and summer- 
houses. The chalk has been excavated from very early times 
in the search for flint, and traces of sojourn in such pits are 
not wanting. We need not stop seriously to discuss the 
suggestion that Fingal's Cave was excavated by man. The 
rock-hewn tombs around Jerusalem, the catacombs of Italy 
and Egypt are artificial caves. 

All along the Yezere and other cliff- margined valleys in the 
South of France we see the natural caves and rock- shelters, 
modified sometimes by man, walled up and occupied as store- 
houses, or even as dwellings. History tells us that those 
caves were frequently held by troops during the long occu- 
pation of that part of France by the English. The Rock of 
Tayac, like Gibraltar, "a kind of fortress entirely hollowed out 
of the rock," is frequently mentioned in the history of the wars 
of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.* And the Aquitani, 
when pressed by Caesar's troops, retreated to their caves in 
South-central France. I have heard of a man who lived for 
some time in a cave in Yorkshire, coming out at night for 
food ; milk from the neighbours' cows, eggs, or whatever else 
he could lay hands on. There were many odds and ends 
in that cave which might have been relics of his sojourn, as 
well as others of more remote antiquity.f 

There are hardly any records of research in caves which are 
known to have been occupied in recent or historic times. A 
systematic examination of all the caves in which history tells 
us the inhabitants of any district once took refuge, and an 
exact description of all found and observed in them, would be 
very interesting, and might furnish important evidence 
bearing upon doubtful questions. 

Artificial caves, however, or artificially modified caves, form 
a very small proportion of those with which we have chiefly to 
do. The caves in which primaeval man lived, and into which 
in old times hyenas dragged carcasses of the animals they 
killed or found dead along the river- courses, were all natural 
caves. So are the celebrated stalactite caves of Germany and 
America. But we must inquire into the mode of formation 
of natural caves if we would understand the conditions which 
surrounded primasval man or speculate on his age. 

There are sea- caves formed by the waves that lash the 
cliffs as if sounding them to find their weaker places. The water 

* Reliquice Aquitanicce, p. 4. 

t Exploration of Cave Ha, Journ. Anthropological Inst. 1874. 


itself would soon destroy a jointed rock. As each storm- wave 
rolls in, it deals a tremendous blow on the fissured mass. 
Every thin packing of clay between contiguous blocks is soon 
washed out, and the fissures themselves enlarged. Then there 
comes into play another action. The space behind the block 
is filled with water; the thumping wave falls on the narrow 
opening on one side of it, not on the whole at once; the 
force is multiplied ten or a hundred times by the hydro- 
static paradox, and the block is hammered out. Even in 
a river this operation is seen going on. Along the valley 
above Sedgwick's old home in Dent, thin beds of car- 
boniferous limestone with shaley partings form the bed of 
the stream. The shale perishes, and the great slabs, 5 feet to 
10 feet across and nearly 1 foot thick, lie side by side on the 
bed of the stream. Then in one of the floods so frequent in 
that district the fissured limestone is filled, and the surplus 
water rushes in a torrent over the usually almost dry channel. 
A slab is lifted by the hydrostatic paradox, turned over by 
the torrent, perhaps swept down, or often left a record of the 
lifting force which got it out of its bed, but in doing so 
destroyed the machinery by which it lifted it. So sea-cliffs 
are more apt to be scooped out into caves and crannies 
where the rock is jointed or crushed. Any soft, readily- 
decomposed dyke traversing the harder rock is also more 
easily removed. 

But that is not the only process by which these sea-caves 
are formed. On the coast of Pembrokeshire, near St. Davids, 
there is a hole among the crags near high-water mark where, 
at a certain state of the tide, with each recoiling wave there is 
a loud sucking noise as the air is being forcibly drawn in 
through small, wet, weed-covered fissures to take the place of 
the receding water. It is known as Llesugn from the sound. 
Were it not for the cracks communicating with the air above we 
should not be reminded of this force being exercised by every 
wave in the cave below. Any loose material would be drawn 
back with the wave, and perhaps carried out of the cave 
altogether. Many of us are familiar with the phenomena 
known as "Blow Holes," or "Puffing Holes." The incoming 
wave fills the tapering cave, and, just as the bore coming up a 
tidal river rises higher and runs more fiercely when the con- 
verging banks force it to pursue its way through a more 
contracted channel, so when the wave rushes into a narrowing, 
funnel-shaped cave, with a small aperture communicating with 
the surface, the water is forced up through the opening, and 
often a spout of spray is carried high into the air. All these 
phenomena tell us of the enormous force exerted by the waves 


upon the coast, and explain how caves must everywhere 
be formed where shattered or softer rock is exposed to the 
lash of the wind-driven sea. 

But this is not all. The wave picks up great boulders and 
hurls them at the rocks that bar its advance. It is quite common, 
after a storm, to find large stones lodged on a promenade or 
pier, where they must have been caught up in the wave and 
thrown upon the land. Stones are always carried forward up 
an incline as far as the waves advance ; but the cases I refer 
to now are those in which the stone has been thrown up to 
the top of a vertical wall. The last place I remember having 
seen this was in a great storm a few years ago at Hunstanton. 
The same thing takes place on a grand scale on some of the 
wild, rocky cliffs of North-Western Scotland, for instance. 
The Director-General of the Survey has described how in 
storm, great blocks are hurled up on to the top of the cliff 
near the Old Man of Hoy. 

The force of the Atlantic waves at the Skerryvore Rocks, 
as estimated by the marine dynamometer, an instrument 
designed by Thos. Stevenson for this purpose, was found to 
be as much as 6,083 Ib. to the square foot.* 

From the height to which the spray was thrown, he inferred 
a pressure of about 3 tons to the square foot ; and farther 
recorded that a block of stone, estimated at 48 tons in weight, 
" was seen to move under the influence of each wave."f 

" On the Bound Skerry of Whalsey, which is only exposed to the waves 
of the North Sea or German Ocean, he had found .... masses of rock 
weighing 9 tons and under, heaped together by the action of the waves at 
the level of no less than 62 feet above the sea ; and others ranging from 6 
to 13j tons were found to have been quarried out of their positions in situ, 
at levels of from 70 to 74 feet above the sea. Another block of 7 T 7 ff tons, at 
the level of 20 feet above the sea, had been quarried out and transported to 
a distance of 73 feet .... over opposing abrupt faces as much as 7 feet in 
height." (J) 

It is clear that such waves and such boulders would make 
short work of broken rock or a rotten dyke, and any old 
cave or fissure opened out by the sea would not be likely to 
have much of the original deposits left in it. The first storm 
would clear out all earth and bones, and leave in its place 
only the well-worn pebbles of a rocky shore the battered 
shot of nature's great marine artillery. A sudden upheaval 
would leave the cave either quite clear, if it was on a clean, 

(*) Stevenson, Thos. Edin. New Phil. Jour, xlviii. 1850, p. 41, 
(+) Ditto, Proc. R. <S'oc. Edin. vol. ii. 1844-50, p. 13. 
(J) Ditto, Proc. E. Sot. Edin. vol. iv. 1862, p. 200. 


rocky shore, or filled with heaped-up pebbles, if it opened on to 
a shingle beach. By its form and by its contents we could 
generally make a shrewd guess whether it was a sea-cave or 
not. We should ask whether the parts where the cave 
expands are those on which the sea would act with greatest 
force and efficiency, or whether the shape could be better 
explained by reference to torrents coming in the other 
way. We should examine the contents to see whether in 
their character or arrangement they indicated the action of 
the in-rushing water, or whether they are such as could never 
have survived the scour of tidal and wind-driven waves. 
When we have to inquire into the origin of caves in inland 
cliffs and on mountain-sides, now far above the sea, where 
many of the traces above-described may have been long 
removed by denudation, there are further tests to be applied. 
There we should have regard to their manner of occurrence 
and their place in the physical geography of the neighbour- 
hood. A sea-cave does not necessarily, or even commonly 
occur in the line of drainage from the uplands, but in the 
higher cliffs and headlands between the valleys that run down 
to the sea. Whereas the caves due to subterranean water- 
courses lie in the lines of drainage ; and the caves due to 
sub-aerial waste coincide in distribution with the outcrop of 
the beds that readily lend themselves to that kind of 

Moreover, allowing for the possibility of unequal elevation 
of different parts of a coast-line, we can still generally find 
sufficient evidence to show whether the rock in which the 
cave occurs forms part of an old sea-cliff or of an escarpment.* 

We must remember also that during the formation of a 
sea-cave the base of the cliff is being swept by the sea. 
Sometimes an inland stream washes the base of a rock in 
which a watercourse cave has its outfall, but generally in the 
case of inland-formed caves a vast mass of talus is being 
formed along the base of the cliff in which the cave occurs. 
The scour of floods may keep the mouth open, but as the 
water is being drained off to other ^and lower levels, this sweep- 
ing of the cave mouth ceases, and the cave deposits show 
interbedded fallen rock and transported earth and stones, and 
often the remains of animals. 

As a general statement we may say that a typical sea-cave, 
runs into a cliff which rises vertically from the level of the 

* Cf. Whitaker, Q.J.G.S. vol. xxiii. c. 186, p. 265. Geol Mag. vol. iv. 
1867, pp. 457, 443. 


floor of the cave, or is even undercut a little, because the 
talus has always been removed from the base, so that the 
fragments broke away all over the face of the cliff from top 
to bottom, and the base sometimes was even undermined by 
the waves. 

In the case of an inland cliff, on the contrary, the fallen 
rock is not removed, so that only the upper part of the 
cliff above the sloping mass of talus is exposed to the action 
of the weather. The exposed part is reduced in height as the 
talus grows, so that the cliff keeps on receding above only, 
as the talus keeps covering up more and more of the lower 

The form that a chalk cliff would eventually have behind 
the talus has been calculated by the Rev. 0. Fisher.* 

Of course, the sea-cliff, when removed inland by elevation, 
gets, after a time, eaten back by sub -aerial weathering, and 
covered over by talus like any ordinary escarpment. 

Gaping fissures of such a character that they could in any 
case be looked upon as caves are very rare, but the fault- 
breccia that commonly fills such cracks is easily removed, and 
the various denuding agencies are apt to follow fissures, and 
thus caves be formed along them. The unequal flow of lava 
curling and coiling over the half-cooled mass of earlier flows 
sometimes leaves openings like caves. 

It is said that some of the caves in volcanic districts are 
opened out by the various acidic vapours which act on the 
micaceous and other schistose rocks which have been already 
fissured by the earthquakes so frequent in those countries 
as, for instance, in the case of some of the caves of Corinth 
and the Cyclades.f 

These are, however, few and unimportant, seldom 
occurring where a cave would be much frequented by man or 
the lower animals. 

The commonest caves and those which generally 
have proved of greatest interest, are the old subterranean 
watercourses so frequent in limestone rocks. The way in 
which these caves are formed is well known, but many of the 
phenomena connected with them appear to be less clearly 
understood, and so we hear of various startling theories pro- 
pounded which, on inquiry, turn out to be based on a wrong 
interpretation of the mode of formation of the deposits found 

* Geol Mag., vol. iii. 1866, p. 354. See also Davison, Geol Mag. vol. 
1886, p. 65. 
t Virlet, Bull. Soc Geol. de France, i. ii. p. 329. 


in such caves. It is to these questions I especially invite 
attention to-night, and in the selection of examples in illus- 
tration I shall be chiefly guided by the desire to make clear 
the distinction between the age of the caves and of the cave 
deposits, and the mode of formation of the cave earth and 
laminated clays, stalagmitic floors, and broken-up travertine 
breccias, stream-gravel, and angular talus. 

First, I would just remind you that these caves are formed 
in a rock which can not only be mechanically broken up and 
carried off, but can also be dissolved in water and carried 
away in solution wherever water can pass. Even pure water 
can take up two grains per gallon of carbonate of lime, of 
which these rocks are largely composed. But pure water is very 
rarely found in nature. The rain generally takes up some 
carbonic acid from the air, and when it falls on the ground 
gets a great deal more from the decomposing vegetation, and 
water with carbonic acid in it acts rapidly upon the limestone 
rock, carrying off part of it as a bicarbonate of lime, while the 
earthy part is washed away in mechanical suspension till it 
settles down in some pool of still water as mud, often forming 
a considerable part of the cave-earth which fills all the 
interstices of the broken rock. As may be seen by the analysis 
of hard waters, it is not uncommon to get 25 grains per 
gallon of carbonate of lime in the water of limestone districts, 
and this means the never-ceasing operation of the agencies 
which tend to form caves. 

So, of course, the most favourable conditions for the for- 
mation of such caves are First, a limestone into which the 
water can trickle down along joints and fissures, and find its 
way out at some lower level. Secondly, an area over which the 
rain can gather into streamlets and collect from vegetation 
the acids which will help it to dissolve the rock. The crack 
into which the water first finds its way may be very small ; the 
water soon opens it out, acting first chemically, then mechani- 
cally, on the surrounding rock. When the sand and broken 
rock get a free passage, mountain torrents, full of debris 
torn from the hill-side or washed out of ancient boulder- clays, 
are precipitated into the chasms, which take the place of the 
half-opened joint, and the work goes on apace. 

It is quite clear that in such circumstances it must often 
happen that, as the clay or shale on the hill-side is being 
denuded away, the water must find its way into the jointed 
limestone further and further back continually, and, in the 
deep recesses of the mountain, new channels must often carry 
off the water that once ran higher up. Thus, the higher out- 
falls are left dry, and then they are in a state for man and 


beast to inhabit. Sometimes, however, when all the hill is 
full after some great thunderstorm, water spurts out of every 
joint and spouts in torrents from each cave, and until the 
cave is quite beyond the chance of such catastrophes, wo 
cannot hope to find a clear, continuous record of its old 

To give an example of a cave now being formed in one 
part and periodically modified in another, I will carry you to 
the flanks of Ingleborough, where the conditions are pecu- 
liarly well suited for the formation of caves and for the 
examination of all the accompanying phenomena. Many of 
you are familiar with the form of the grand bluff known as 
Ingleborough the most conspicuous feature as you look 
north from Lancashire towards the borders of Yorkshire and 
Westmoreland. Its flat cap of millstone grit ; its steep slopes 
of rapidly-crumbling Yoredale shale, here and there braced 
up by throughs of sandstone, or grit, or limestone ; its great 
table of mountain limestone, on which these all stand ; and 
its base of Cambrian and Silurian, altogether combine to 
furnish some of the most charming bits of scenery and most 
interesting bits of geology in the kingdom. On the S.E. 
slopes of Ingleborough is a great hollow space where the 
water runs off the impervious Yoredale shale and the patchy 
drift down to the basement table of mountain limestone. 
The drainage area is about a square mile, and the stream is 
usually small and generally lost at once in the first open joints 
of the limestone that it gets to. But a flush of rain-water 
soon fills these crevices to overflowing, and the surplus water 
rushes on 100 yards or so to a great chasm, known as Gaping 
Gill Hole, into which it plunges with a roar. 'The air dragged 
down, tangled in the water, ascends in a current, carrying 
mist and spray far above the chasm's brink. I have watched 
this wonderful abyss many a day of storm and sunshine. No 
one has ever been to the bottom of it ; but I can tell you 
something more about it that bears directly on the subject 
we are considering. 

In that country, so favourable for the formation of all the 
various kinds of swallow-hole, cave, and keld, I once had tho 
good fortune to witness one of those grand storms which in a 
few minutes change the face of nature, and in a few hours 
leave a mark that ages may not efface. 

I had climbed some way up Ingleborough. It was a 
glorious July morning. Myriads of insects were busy with their 
own various pursuits. The haymakers were hard at work ; 
more hurried, perhaps, as the weatherwise saw thickenings 
towards the south, and felt the sultry heat that warned them 


there might be a storm. I turned now and then as I got 
higher, and saw the mist gather on the southern horizon. 
Soon it took shape and formed in the eddies as the rapidly- 
rising wind crept on. Two principal masses of cloud came 
crowding up, converging on Ingleborough, from Lancaster 
and Clitheroe. I had once before seen that kind of sky in 
South Wales, and, a few hours after, thirty-aight bridges were 
carried away in our county. So warned, I hurried homewards, 
and it was well I did. The clouds appeared to me to be 
rolling on in vertical planes. I ran, and only just got in to 
my inn before the worst was on us. Drenched haymakers, 
who had lingered too long in some insufficient temporary 
shelter, kept coming into the village. The storm burst with 
all its fury on the south-eastern flank of Ingleborough. 

The stream that drains that area runs through the village 
of Clapham. The valley is dammed close above the village, 
to form a small tarn. This soon felt the flood, but, of 
course, the equalising effect of a lake upon the stream 
below it prevented our realising the tremendous rainfall for a 
time ; because, before the stream could be raised six feet as it 
flowed out of this lake, the whole area of the lake had to be 
raised to that extent. But very soon this was done and the 
arch was filled, and a great spout of turbid water was pro- 
jected forward on to the rocks at the base of the dam above 
the church. I went up the valley round the lake towards 
the celebrated Ingleborough Cave. It was a striking scene. 
Water spurted out of every crack and joint in the rocks, but 
the united subterranean watercourses could not carry it all, 
and the overflow from the drift-covered country above the 
usual outfalls rushed down the valley, carrying mud and 
boulders with it in its headlong course. The stream below 
the cave runs over bare limestone for a considerable distance, 
and the noise made by the boulders, as they were rolled along 
the rocky floor, was so great that my companions thought the 
thunder-storm was beginning again and hurried home. I went 
on to the great cave. Here I saw a wonderful sight. The 
lower cave was full, and the water was spouting out of the 
upper cave, which is usually dry, as you pour water out of the 
mouth of a kettle ; and well it might, for, if the swallow-hole 
that feeds it was full to overflowing, it had had the pressure 
of more than eleven atmospheres upon it. 

This was one of the most instructive geological phenomena 
it has ever fallen to my lot to witness. Here I saw what was, 
to all intents and purposes, a local cataclysm. Gentle slopes 
of pasture, where usually no stream ran, were suddenly 
gashed by a torrent, and the debris swept far away across the 


lowlands. Underground passages, high above the present 
water-channels, were swept clean by the body of water forced 
through them under enormous pressure. Caves that had 
been sealed up for years with barriers of stalagmite, which 
one would have thought might have defied the rush of any 
flood, were burst open. Most of this debris all, in fact, 
that was moved by the first rush of water was carried down 
the valley. Some remained around the mouth, and some in 
embayed corners in the caves. Here we saw fragments of 
stalagmitic floors, mixed up with debris washed in from the 
swallow-holes above. Some might have seen here evidence 
that, after the cave had been formed and occupied and 
gently filled by earth and coated and partitioned by stalactite 
and stalagmite, there came an age of flood perhaps of 
submergence when the old deposits were re-sorted, the old 
floors broken up, and that the cave then entered upon 
another phase of its history. How different the facts ! I 
saw this revolution taking place. It was all over in three 
short hours. It was another illustration of the great law of 
Uniformitarianism, which I have heard the Duke of Argyll 
well state thus : Local catastrophic action is not inconsistent 
with continuity of causation. 

We must bear these things in mind when we are examining 

The peat torn away from the mountain-side above was so 
beaten up in this great natural churn that the water of the 
tarn did not get clear for months. The sediment did not 
settle for three weeks in a long glass which I filled during 
the flood. There must have been a layer of fine carbonaceous 
clay formed over the bottom of the tarn and in many a 
deep cave-pool after that storm. When the rain ceased, the 
water soon ran off the mountain-side, and I went up to 
examine Gaping Gill, the great swallow-hole that feeds the 
cave. I found a passage opened out among some blocks on 
one side of the stream a little above the chasm. I thought I 
might perhaps find a zigzag descent, which would lead me 
down into Gaping Gill Hole. So I crept in. 

I soon got beyond the light, and therefore took the pre- 
caution of throwing stones in front of me before I advanced. 
I found the slope increased rapidly, and then all of a sudden 
the stones dropped into a deep hole, down which they 
whirred, knocking the sides here and there till they dropped, 
with a booming noise, into deep water below. I wriggled 
out, and returned another day, with friends and candles and 
string, for I could not drop the stones straight so as to clear 
the sides, and so estimate the depth by the time they took in 


falling. Sometimes the weight I attached to the string was 
too small, so that the increased weight of the string itself, when 
wetted by the splash of underground waters, prevented my 
being able to judge whether my plummet had touched the 
surface of the water below or not. Sometimes the jagged 
rocks cut my string, and I lost hundreds of feet in this way. 
At last, however, I got the right sort of string and a con- 
venient weight, and I found that the water here plunged into 
a vertical hole 360 feet from the grass-covered turf above. 

This was not, however, the principal chasm, and I saw a 
curious sight on the southern, or lowest, face of the great 
chasm beyond : it was battered and bruised as if it had been 
bombarded for hours, and so it had. In that flood hundreds 
of boulders, carried forward by the rush of water, were hurled 
against the opposite face of rock, and then, dropping into 
the great chasm, were hurried away through the subterranean 
watercourses and caves down to the valley far below, where 
they still rolled on with a noise like thunder over the smooth, 
rocky bed of the stream, till arrested when the velocity of 
the water was checked in the wider spaces, or finally stopped 
in the little tarn below. 

Here was the whole story of the formation and infilling of 
limestone caves, and the sudden breaking up of all the older 
deposits and the return of tranquil deposition, to be read in 
Nature's clearest writing. 

First we saw the results of the chemical action of the 
acidulated water running off the peaty moor, and opening out 
the crevices in the jointed limestone. 

Then there was the mechanical action observed on a grand 
scale in storm the boulders and pebbles pounding away the 
solid rock. And next there was the sand and mud left as 
the water subsided, and the old state of things returned. 

Another curious fact I noticed, which shows how the frag- 
mentary rock is rubbed down into mud by the action of 
running water. There was a fetid smell arising from this 
flood water, such as the people about there said they had not 
perceived before. I followed up the stream, and noticed a 
great quantity of black sand thrown down here and there 
along its course. This was derived from the bituminous 
limestones of the lower part of the Yoredale rocks and the 
upper part of the mountain limestone, and I at once suspected 
the cause of the smell. When I rubbed a handful of this sand 
together there was the same fetid smell at once produced. The 
air tangled in the seething flood was carried down the valley, 
and, when released, gave off the gases caught up from the 
pounded rock. 


As we cannot follow these watercourses down from above 
through all their subterranean wanderings, let us go down 
into the valley below where the water comes down, and see if 
we can work our way back into the hill towards the foot of 
the great chasm, and see what is going on there. It is here 
we find what is more properly a cave being formed. The 
water drops from one level to another, then runs along 
between the beds, and drops again. By putting your ear to 
the fissured rock in one place, you can hear, from the deep 
recesses of the earth, the sound of a waterfall that man has 
never seen. Not far off, a beautiful clear river flows out of 
the lower cave. This is 600 feet below the swallow-hole, 
where the water enters on the hill above. When the rain 
floods the stream above, this, too, runs turbid. Some 20 feet 
above it is the entrance to the other cave, the celebrated 
Ingleborough Cave, a more ancient outfall for the water, 
which now runs at the lower level. 

This cave was explored many years ago by Mr. James 
Fairer. I have followed it for about a quarter of a mile, and, 
with some others, been let down to a lower level at the end. 
We squeezed our way along till we came to a long, deep cave, 
full of water, which seemed to flow gently towards the mouth 
of the lower cave. In the great flood of 1872, all the sub- 
terranean caves and fissures were filled, and the water spouted 
out of the upper cave, carrying along with it great masses of 
rock, which helped to break up the stalagmitic floors and 
barriers. This flood was so exceptional that most of the 
debris was carried clean away ; but we saw, when we examined 
the ground round the mouth of the cave, and the well-known 
passages inside, what had been going on ; how stalagmitic 
floors had been undermined, broken up, and re-deposited, and 
how the torrent debris was sometimes left in the embayed 
corners of a limestone cave. But this was a cave not far 
above the existing watercourse. When a cave has been 
formed in the side of a rapidly-deepened gorge, where, how- 
ever high the flood may rise, the water can never sweep it 
out with a rush, gentler processes of denudation and depo- 
sition still go on. The debris that falls about the mouth 
ponds back the rain, and gathers in the fissured rock, and 
turns in the rivulet that would have trickled down the hill 
The damp clay clings to the rock and frets away its surface, 
and things washed in work their way down along the face 
of the opening, gradually-weathered limestone, and lie in clay 
washed down with them. 

It is easy to distinguish the chemically-fretted rock from 
that which has been worn, smoothed, and rounded by the 


mechanical action of the sand and pebble-laden water; as 
you can distinguish the pholas-bored rock from that in which 
the holes are due to weathering. On the chemically- weathered 
surface the less soluble grains and bands stand out. This is 
a useful test. 

When any partly-closed cave is invaded by periodic rushes 
of rain-water, the debris is carried down from above through 
fissures, or washed in from the mouth, and so we find re-sorted 
drift and the material of the rainwash from the surface-soil 
outside the cave occurring also in layers in the cave ; and if 
the cave happens to be occupied by wild animals when not 
flooded, we find their bones and the remains of their food 
scattered over the floor or buried in the rainwash. 

But when the turbid water fills a pool in the cave or 
a pond outside it, and the mud is allowed to settle down 
quietly, the coarser falls first and the finest last. Then the 
water evaporates or soaks through the sides, or perhaps 
remains clear and tranquil till the next rain carries in a flood 
of muddy water. The deposit so formed will have a tendency 
to split along the layers of coarser sand or loam which first 
settled down after flood that is, it would be a laminated clay. 
As long as the pool was about the same depth, and the amount 
of mud carried in suspension in the water was the same, the 
thickness of the laminae would be practically the same, 
representing just the mud in one pondful of turbid water, 
whatever the interval between the refilling of the pond might 
be. The turbid water may come from the bottom of a glacier, 
or from melting snow, or from a heavy rainfall ; but it cer- 
tainly has no necessary connection with glacial action. We 
see laminated clay so formed commonly in the corner of any 
old quarry, in ditches, or in caves. 

In Chapel le Dale, a valley on the west side of Ingle- 
borough, there is a beautiful chasm which has been so opened 
out by the action of the torrent, that you can get down to the 
bottom, where the water plunges on to a bed of broken rock 
and pebbles, through which it passes, as through a sieve or 
very coarse filter, into the water-courses that carry it off 
down Chapel le Dale. This great chasm is probably a fair 
representative of all the large swallow-holes. Hull Pot and 
Hunt Pot, on the flanks of Whernside, are of the same kind. 
Probably there is in Gaping Gill somewhere a place where the 
water in ordinary weather filters through coarse gravel, for I 
have sent down many boards with a notice on each that I 
would reward any person who brought it back to me, but I 
have never heard of one of my notices being found. Yet at 
times great boulders do get through, so it may be that the 


paint of my notices was destroyed in the subterranean water- 
falls and rapids. 

These chasms or funnel-shaped holes are the feeders of the 
caves. They are only vertical caves formed in the horizontal 
surface of the rock. They are known as Swallow-holes, Pot- 
holes, Sink-holes, and in Italy as Dolinas. They have various 
local names, expressing the idea that they are not part of the 
more regular and common operations of nature : the Devil's 
Chaldron, as in French, Chaldrons du Diable, Marmites 
des Geants, Betoires, or, more simply named, they are the 
Katabothra of the Greeks. 

They begin sometimes under the covering of drift, and, 
when the opening grows too large, or the covering soil is 
sodden and will not hold its own weight together, the surface 
breaks in. Mr. Haythornthwaite, of Kirkby Lonsdale, told 
me that on a farm of his above Wethercote Cave, after wet 
weather, he once saw one fall in. 

How swallow-holes are formed in chalk has been described 
by Prestwich.* 

The age of the cave-deposits is quite a separate question 
from that of the caves themselves. The formation of the 
caves was a time of destruction ; but the infilling of the caves 
belonged to a time of accumulation when there was no great 
scour through the caves, but the rain carried in earth and 
stones, if there was loose drift above, or only muddy water if 
the cave was nearly closed, or perhaps nothing was deposited 
but the fine unctuous clayey residuum of the chemically- 
decomposed limestone itself. Angular fragments disengaged 
by frost or heat formed a barricade about the mouth. 
Bones were washed in or carried there by beasts of prey 
and man. Bucklandf referred most of the caves that he 
explored to hyena-dens. Constant PrevostJ thought the 
bones that occurred so thickly in the cave-earth in Franconia 
were all washed in by torrents. This explanation will hold 
only in exceptional cases. The bones may have been washed 
from one part to the other of a cave, and a few do get washed 
in from above. I have seen three sheep being carried down 
towards a swallow-hole, and have found two drowned rabbits 
and some dead trout on the gravel at the bottom of Hunt 
Pot, on the flanks of Whernside. But we never see the 
ground so covered with bones of various animals that a flood 

* Q. J. G. S. vol. x. 1854, p. 222. 

t Reliquice Diluviance. 

J Mem. Soc. d'Hist. Nat. Paris, t. iv, 


would wash them into caves and form an ossiferous deposit 
like that in the caves of Franconia. 

There can be, however, no general explanation for all bone- 
bearing caves. We must examine all the evidence in each 
case, and then form our opinion as to how a particular bone- 
bed was formed. Buckland's view seems to me to be in most 
cases the correct one. 

So are caves formed and modified and filled and swept 
clean and filled again, and we must bear all these facts in mind 
when we attempt to read the story of a cave from the deposits 
which we find in it. 

Broken-up stalagmitic floors are not evidence of the action 
of the sea, but, on the contrary, must generally be referred to 
land floods. 

Laminated clays are not evidence of glacial action, but only 
of alternations of muddy and clear water, such as follow rainy 
and fair weather. 

Some of the most interesting caves, in respect of their con- 
tents and the light they throw on the history of primaeval 
man, are only rock-shelters abris such as are seen in 
the Dordogne district.* They are sometimes longitudinal 
sections of parts of subterranean watercourses, but are more 
commonly due to the weathering away of soft rock between 
two harder beds. It does not always require a stream or direct 
rainfall to wet the surface of a rock sufficiently to let the frost 
act upon it. The travelling moisture of the air, condensed in 
and on the cold rock, is enough, and is probably the chief agent 
in case of a rock undercut so far that the rain cannot touch it, 
just as Renduf explains the film of ice upon the snow at high 
elevation not by the melting and refreezing of the snow, but 
by the condensation of the little moisture left in the air which 
comes in contact with the snow in those high regions. 

The carbonate of lime of the limestone is removed by the 
water and carbonic acid ; but where does it go to, and what 
becomes of the earthy residuum which forms so large a part 
of some limestones ? These can also be traced, and furnish 
us with evidence of another kind that this subterranean 
chemical denudation is going on. When the acidulated, 
water falls upon chalk, for instance, and, instead of being 
collected into rivulets, acts over the whole surface, we 
find a great mass of red clay, full of flints which have been 
weathered out. A great part of this red clay is the insoluble 
portion of the chalk. All limestones have a good deal of iron 

* Lartet, Christy, and Jones, Reliquiae Aquitanicce, 1876. 
t Eendu, Theorie det Glaciers. 


in them. When the limestone is weathered away and the 
iron is oxydised, it colours the earthy residuum red. So 
cave deposits are often red. When the same process has 
been carried on at a considerable depth, as, for instance, over 
the surface of the chalk where covered by the lower Tertiary 
deposits, the residuum is unoxidised and green.* The 
carbonate of lime has been carried away in solution, 
making the spring and river water hard, lining all kettles 
and boilers with fur. At the mouth of a cave or a 
spring-head in a limestone district, where the water first 
gives off part of its carbonic acid, down goes the carbonate 
of lime which the water can no longer carry, and coats the 
moss and grass, and anything on which it can collect ; and 
thus we see in petrifying springs only a proof that the 
chemical waste, which, under certain conditions, forms caves, 
is going on continually. 

The quantity of travertine thrown down in some districts is 
enormous. A great part of Rome is built of this, the Lapis 
tiburtinus, so named from Tivoli. 

In caves, as the water gets towards the outlet, the car- 
bonate of lime is precipitated round the edge of a pendant 
drop or on the margin of some tranquil pool, or, instead of 
the water eating away the walls of the cave, it coats it over 
with stalactite, and so protects it from further waste. In 
doing so it frequently closes up altogether the fissures 
through which the water once ran. So it grows here, stops 
growing there is laid on thickly in one place favourable for 
its rapid precipitation as, for instance, where the water is 
splashed over the surrounding stones and aerated at a 
waterfall, while it takes ages to form a thin film in 
another adjoining chamber. When the great storm of 
1872 broke up the floors at the mouth of Ingleborough 
Cave, I saw modern ginger-beer bottles which had been 
buried a foot deep in the stalagmite. On the other hand, 
Pengelly records that names cut on the walls of Kent's 
Cavern as far back as the beginning of the seventeenth 
century f are only just varnished over, as it were, with a thin 
stalagmitic coating. From the nature of the case this traverti- 
nous deposit must be of extremely irregular accumulation, and 
it is of no value as a measure of the age of the deposits which 
it covers. On the spray-moistened blades of grass or moss 
evaporation is rapid, and the travertine soon forms a thick 

* Q. J. G. S. 1866, p. 402. 

t Pengelly, Brit. Assoc. Reports. Kent's Cavern Committee, 10th and llth 
Report, 1874, 1875. 


porous mass ; and inside the caves there is a difference in 
the quantity of water that trickles over different parts, a 
difference in the amount of carbonate of lime in solution in 
the water, and a difference in the rate of evaporation and 
giving-off of the acid gas. 

Most of the leading facts with regard to caves and cave- 
deposits were noticed by Dr. Buckland, and clearly told in his 
interesting book, the Reliquice Diluviance. We must remember, 
of course, that he wrote that work to support a theory, and 
so, when he gets to the description of the gravels, &c., 
associated with the cave-deposits, either in or near the caverns, 
he sees in them the evidence of a short and transient, but 
universal, flood. But he quite realised the long sojourn of 
the beasts of prey in the caves, and the many generations of 
animals that furnished them with food. He says that he had 
estimated that in some of the German caverns the bones 
found indicated ten times the number of individuals that 
could in the flesh have been crammed into the cave. He 
spared no pains in gathering information as to the habits of 
the modern representatives of the hyaena and other animals 
whose remains occur in the deposits ; and his graphic descrip- 
tion leaves little to be added. It is interesting to read his inge- 
nious inquiries into the cause of the polished and worn bones 
which are found in these old hyaena-dens, which he refers to the 
trampling of the animals on the fragments as they lay partly 
imbedded in the muddy floor ; pointing out, by way of illus- 
tration, how some objects of reverence, in stone or metal, 
have been rubbed down by the touch of devotees. He 
probably had in his mind the toe of the bronze statue of 
St. Peter in Rome, which has been polished and worn by the 
lips of the faithful. 

Buckland's view, that the deposits of the celebrated Kirk- 
dale Cave, and other similar caves which he refers to, would 
be connected with a great submergence, which he identified 
with Noah's Flood, was not, however, so wild as we are some- 
times inclined to think, in our eagerness to assert the inde- 
pendence of such inquiries from all preconceived ideas or 
theological tenets. There certainly is evidence in many places 
along our coasts of small depressions since the occupation of 
those districts by man, and it is extremely probable that the 
land had not at any rate recovered its present elevation in this 
country after the greater submergence that followed on the 
Glacial age, before man appeared on the scene. 

There is a great deal of evidence of torrent-action in these 
caves. There are marine shells washed into them and buried 
in the same earth as Palaeolithic man and the extinct 


mammals. Buckland's view was, as I believe, far more 
nearly in accordance with facts than the views of those who 
have argued for the pre-Glacial age of some of these caverns, 
which contain only the later group of early Pleistocene 
mammals. It agrees with the view that there has been a 
great submergence since the occupation of some of the known 
Pleistocene caves, but is less wild than the theory that the 
deposits of that submergence are Glacial because they contain 
a large percentage of material derived from older Glacial 
deposits. I have already combated the view that the contents 
of the Victoria Cave * were pre-Glacial, and I have recentlyf 
examined the evidence upon which the theory that the con- 
tents of the caves of Ffynon Beuno were pre-Glacial because 
they were anterior to the submergence which followed the 
Glacial age. This view was far more untenable than that of 
Dr. Buckland, for its advocates held that if the sea of the last 
submergence washed the mouth of these caves after they had 
received the deposits containing the Palaeolithic remains now 
found in them, that in itself would contitute a proof that 
those remains were pre-Glacial. 

It is a very curious thing that, although we find such 
abundant evidence of Palaeolithic man in caves as well as in 
river deposits, there should be so few remains of his bones. 
Perhaps it was because such little care was taken of the dead 
that all traces of them were soon destroyed by beasts of prey. 
However, the fact remains ; and, therefore, it is of great 
importance to inquire into any alleged occurrence of human 
bones of Palaeolithic date. One such announcement was made 
some years ago, when it was reported that a whole human 
skeleton had been found with the remains of the mammoth 
and other extinct animals in a cave on the coast near Mentone. 
The skeleton was brought to Paris, where I saw it. In a 
photograph which was shown to me soon after the discovery 
there were two Neolithic implements lying beside the body, 
but these were not exhibited with it in Paris. The body was 
lying on its side in a red earth, with few fragments of any 
kind in it. There was a quantity of oxide of iron about the 
head, which might have been the remains either of ornaments 
in pyrites or of a pigment formed of reddle. 

Some years afterwards I had an opportuity of examining 
the place where it was said to have been found, and of con- 

* Trans. Viet. In$t. March, 1879, vol. xiii. p. 316. 
t Q. J. G. S. (Nov. 17, 1886), vol. xliii. 1887, p. 73, 


versing about it with M. Bomfils, who was there at the time 
it was discovered. The cave is one of several which occur 
east of Mentone in the Limestone Rocks, known as Baousse 
Rousse, the Red Rocks. The cave was partly filled with 
cave earth and angular fragments of limestone fallen from, 
the roof and sides. In this the skeleton was found, as far as 
I could gather, interred. I learned that the implements which 
I noticed in the photograph had not been found with it, but 
had been put in to make a better picture. It appeared 
that, though found with the bones of the extinct mammalia, 
it was not Palaeolithic, but buried among them, and so it may 
have been of any subsequent date. The evidence, however, 
which appeared to assign its more probable age to it namely 
Neolithic was unfortunately of no value, as the implements 
were not found with the skeleton, but only placed by it to 
make a more interesting photograph. 

Some caves, like that of Adelsberg, about twenty-six miles 
east of Trieste, open out into grand halls draped with stalag- 
mite and sparkling with crystalline incrustations. One of 
the chambers measures 665 x 640 x 100 feet, and in another, 
on every Whit-Monday, a great ball is given. The work of 
excavation is still going on here, for a river empties itself into 
the cavernous rock below the entrance to these grottoes, and 
is heard roaring in the deep recesses far within the cave. 

In other cases, instead of such vast halls, we find a more 
immense extent of galleries, as in the Mammoth Cave 01 
Kentucky. Both suggest a great lapse of time. In this it 
is estimated that there are about 150 miles of underground 
passages. All the drainage of that area drops into great 
swallow-holes which join the general network of subterranean 
channels. In them a uniform earth temperature of 54 deg. 
Fahr. is maintained. No frost and thaw aid the denudation 
there. As long as the area drained has been unchanged and 
the amount of acid in the water has not varied, the rate of 
waste has probably been the same ; and though we cannot 
offer any numerical estimate of the time it has taken to 
remove so much rock in this way, we cannot help feeling that 
it must have been very long. 

If we turn to the fauna of this cave, we get a peep at 
Nature carrying on some of her most mysterious work. Here 
we find animals modified to accord with their surroundings 
organs unused being atrophied and lost. Where there was no 
light, they could not see. So many of the insects, crusta- 
ceans and fish are blind. The wild spring and headlong 
flight of the grasshopper would be dangerous in those dark 
recesses. The poor insect would dash against the rock or 


drop into some treacherous pool. So nature deprived it of 
wings, and, instead, lengthened its antennae, so that it could 
feel in time to save itself when, with less impetuous leaps, it 
came against an obstacle. 

Do these changes also point to a great lapse of time ? or 
may we believe that among the lower forms of life, and those 
in which the generations follow one another most rapidly, 
these changes also may be much more rapid ? There is 
nothing in the nature of the case to show that evolution must 
be slow. If forms of life are modified by their environment, 
the rate of change in the organic being may yet be slow; but, 
as far as we can see, it often is very rapid. What an oppor- 
tunity for studying such questions. An animal, the type of 
liveliness the sunny grasshopper, the flying ruby emerald or 
topaz is plunged at once and for ever into the darkness of 
earth's innermost recesses. No need of wings, where it dare 
not fly ; no use for eyes, where it cannot see ; no advantage 
in gorgeous hue, where there is no light to be reflected. 
What will become of it. Nature cuts off its wings ; nature 
blinds its eyes ; nature washes out its brilliant colours ; but, 
in compensation, gives it means to guard against its new 
dangers by lengthening out its antennas, to let it feel its way 

If this process is still going on, what will it come to ? Does 
it go on indefinitely throughout all nature, or are there limits 
of evolution for all, or its own limit for each form? On the 
one hand, from analogy we learn that we must not assume, 
because development goes on constantly within our short 
experience, that it must go on in the same way indefinitely. 
Were a being from a treeless planet to visit our earth and 
report upon what he observed of the growth of an oak, he 
might record that the tree developed in the same way each 
year bud, leaf, flower, fruit; and that twig, branch, and bowl 
grew in proportion ; and the roots shot out downwards and 
sideways, seeking, with what looked almost like intelligence, the 
best-suited soil. He saw no reason why it might not go on 
for ever while our earth could bear it. How different the fact. 
The oak tree has its term of life. So may species, for aught 
we can at present certainly say, have their term of life. But 
what determines it ? Again, I appeal to analogy not as an 
argument so much as in illustration. Fairy-rings on the grass 
are the annular spaces on which a certain fungus grows. 
This fungus scatters its spores all round, but they will grow 
only on the virgin soil outside, and, as they will not grow 
^where they have grown before, inside the ring the species 
becomes extinct. 


But plants help one another. A forest creeps along the 
hillside and the vale,, destroys the life that will not grow 
below it, but itself exhausts the soil, and in time perishes, 
having, however, renovated the soil for other plants which 
were kept out so long. In the four and six course farming 
man recognises this. Many diseases are but growths which 
creep across the world, feeding upon the constitutions that 
favour them, and then die out. Could we but destroy the 
seed that lingers somewhere to spread again over an earth 
peopled by new generations. 

Shall we say, then, this is the difference ? The individual 
has a term of life measured by the vitality inherent in himself, 
which cannot be wholly renovated. 

The species has no limit to its life, save that imposed by its 
surroundings, which, however, it renders unsuitable by using 
up that on which its life depends. This, however, can be 
renewed. But will the same life be there to take advantage 
of the renovation ? That is the question in each case. 

The dying-out and migration of species thus becomes only 
the outward growth of the fairy -ring. 

The incoming of new species only the appearance of the 
wingless, colourless grasshopper in the Mammoth Cave. 

The CHAIRMAN (H. Cadman Jones, Esq.): I presume I need hardly put 
it to the Meeting that we should return our thanks to Professor Hughes for 
his very interesting paper, which it has been a great pleasure to listen to. 
After some communications have been read, it will be open to those whose 
studies have lain especially in the direction of the subject taken up to 
commence the discussion. 

Captain FRANCIS PETRIE, F.G.S. (the Honorary Secretary) : Among the 
letters received from those unable to be present this evening are the follow- 
ing. The first and second are from the Duke of Argyll and Professor 
Hulke, F.R.S., mentioning that they have read Professor Hughes's paper 
with much interest, and adding that they have no criticisms to pass 
upon it. The third is from Sir J. William Daw^on, K.C.M.G., F.K.S. : 

McGill College, Montreal, 

"March 16,1887. 

" I beg to thank jou for your kind communication of an early copy of the 
interesting paper by my friend, Professor McKenny Hughes, on Caves. I 
am glad that Professor McKenny Hughes is applying his well-known acute- 
ness and discrimination to those modern deposits which have given rise to so 
much somewhat crude discussion and speculation. His paper on the Drifts_of 
the Vale of Clwyd * I regard as one of the most valuable we have recently 

* Qvarhrly Journal of the Geological Society, February, 1887. 


had, and especially so as placing the drifts of Wales more closely in relation 
with those so widely distributed in Canada, than heretofore. In the present 
paper he has very clearly illustrated, in the case of Ingleborough Cave, the 
fact that true uniformitarianism in geology includes local and occasional 
catastrophic action. This I regard as of the most vital importance to 
geological reasoning, and especially in the explanation of cavern deposits 
and river gravels, which, more than most other formations, are liable to be 
affected by violent and paroxysmal local debacles, as well as by appar- 
ently capricious accidental changes. The utmost caution and the most 
careful and minute observation are necessary in dealing with these 
deposits, and in estimating their ages and their relation to the human 

" With kind regards, 

" I remain, yours truly, 

" Captain Francis Petrie." 

The Eev. J. Magens Mello, M.A., F.G.S. writes : 

" I am very sorry that I am unable to be present at the reading 
of Professor Me Kenny Hughes's paper this evening. To the greater 
part of it I have nothing that I could add save in the way of corro- 
boration from personal observations of similar instances. But I have 
the very strongest doubts whether there can be any trace whatever left 
in our caves of the Noachian Deluge, even granting that catastrophe 
involved our islands, which I am hardly prepared to admit. My own 
experience of British caves, both from observation and from reading, tends 
to show that the contents of, at any rate, most of them have been the gradual 
accumulation of a long series of years, during which they were occupied 
partly by beasts, partly by men, and that there is no evidence whatever to 
be found in them of so sudden a cataclysm as the Great Flood, the historical 
character of which is, however, abundantly confirmed by overwhelming 
proofs of various kinds." 

The Rev. Dr. Walker, F.L.S., says : 

" Dun Mallard, Cricklewood, 
"February 19. 

"On p. 21, Professor McKenny Hughes speaks of the appearance of 'the 
wingless, colourless grasshopper in the mammoth cave.' I should be glad 
to be informed whether or not the same species, winged and coloured, 
is found outside the caves in broad daylight ! If not, the infer- 
ence would seem to be that the grasshopper in question had originally 
been created sightless, to fit it for its natural surroundings, and not have 
gradually become so through the unused organ being atrophied and lost. 
As it is inconceivable that any particular species would survive in the dark 
cave, and have disappeared long years since in the open air, where all the 
conditions for supporting and prolonging existence are so much more favour- 
able. Lastly, short antenme and the possession of wings are not the 
characteristics of all grasshoppers living in the light, as I can prove by 
species captured by myself and in my own collection." 


Also a letter, just received, from Sir Charles Warren, regretting that he is 
unable to be present, as he had intended. 

Sir WARINGTON W. SMYTH, F.R.S. In response, sir, to your invitation, 
I have much pleasure in saying that I am sure the paper we have just 
listened to must have been a great treat to the whole of us. My friend, 
Mr. McKenny Hughes, the Woodwardian Professor of Geology at Cambridge, 
has had an unusual amount of experience in hunting up and examining 
caves, and I may state that, having during a series of years had opportunities 
of exploring several of those he has mentioned, I feel particularly indebted 
to him for the graphic account he has given us of a district and cave I have 
not seen. I shall not attempt to follow him into the difficult region into 
which he has been carried by the wingless grasshoppers of which he has 
spoken, a part of the question which we may look upon as sepa- 
rated from the earlier portion of the paper. I desire only to express 
to him the reasons why I feel especially gratified with some of the 
points he has put before us in describing the modes by which caves have 
been formed and the manner in which they have been filled by various kinds 
of material. I recollect that in my earlier days of geological study I was 
surprised to find that a former generation of geologists I speak especially 
of Professors BucklandandSedgwick and their continental contemporaries 
set very great store by the examination of caverns, and entered not only into 
a series of explorations, but of philosophic considerations, of a most interest- 
ing character, on this subject. Indeed, I do not know that anything more 
interesting can be pointed out than the work by Professor Buckland, of 
which Professor Hughes has reminded us, Meliquiw Diluviance, although 
it is, doubtless, true that the theory on which he relied so much at the time he 
wrote that book is now very much discredited. The descriptions he gave with 
such admirable freshness of the different caves he visited and the facts he sub- 
mitted cannot be studied by us without great advantage. I had the happi- 
ness, when a young man, of making a tour into that part of Franconia in 
which Dr. Buckland particularly delighted, and of seeing some caves in the 
neighbourhood of Muggendorf, which he made a special locality ; and the 
impression formed in my mind coincided with his view as to the filling of 
the caverns in that part of the world by a succession of cave bears with the 
bones of animals which they had dragged in, so that in process of time they 
became a rich harvest to the geologist, who, on taking up the stalagmite 
which covered the cavern floors, found the bones of those animals embedded 
in it. I remember being greatly struck with a cave high up the side of the 
Muggendorf Valley, where it was clear that the hollow had been formed by 
the action of water containing carbonic acid, and that some of the bones 
discovered there must have come in by accident from openings above. In 
fact, the bones of two human beings were found in that cave underneath the 
chasm through which they had evidently fallen. The same thing has bee n 
impressed on me most forcibly in the district of Cross Fell, Cumberland, 
where, having, some few years ago, had occasion to be frequently crossing 


the mountains, it happened that, being short of time, I was sometimes so 
pressed that, after I had left the railway at Penrith, in making my way over 
a place 1,000 feet high to my shooting-box on the middle of the moor, I was 
overtaken by darkness before I could reach home. I had observed how 
amenable the district was to swallow-holes. Very often, where there was 
only a thin covering of sandy rock, there was, at short distances from one 
another, a succession of caverns hollowed out of the limestone stratum, and 
these becoming enlarged had given way at the top and fallen in so as to 
leave a crater-like opening. One night, when it was pitch dark, I came 
suddenly upon one of these craters, and tumbling head over heels picked 
myself up at the bottom. I then found that I was very near a little hole 
through which water was trickling, and when I got to the shooting-box 
I found, on putting my hands in my pockets, that they were full of moss ; 
so that I felt sure I had had a complete capsize. It struck me that, 
supposing I had broken my legs and had been left there to starve to death, 
my bones would probably have been carried by the water through one of the 
openings in the rock into a limestone cavern beneath. Thus it seemed to 
me that at times small bones may have been introduced into caverns 
through these openings above, and at others, bones of the larger animals 
may have got in through the chasms we find in the rocks. There is the Ply- 
mouth limestone again which often, through quarrying operations, has been 
the means of presenting to us the bones of lions and tigers and a number of 
other animals which at the present day are strangers to anything like our 
latitudes ; but I will not detain you by going into this branch of the subject. 
I may say, however, that what has been put before us in reference to the 
Ingleborough and other caves teaches us a very important lesson. I was 
rather astonished by what the author of the paper told us as to the stalag- 
mitic floors being forced up by the action of a very heavy flood of rain water, 
and I cannot help seeing therein one of those difficulties that are exceedingly 
apt to puzzle tyros in geological inquiry. I have always felt that the examin- 
ation of these caves ought to be conducted with the very greatest care and 
caution, and that the question of their formation and contents was a matter 
requiring to be dealt with by the most experienced geologists ; because, when 
we come to the breaking up of stalagmite floors and the bones embedded in 
them, it stands to reason that conclusions of the most dangerous kind may 
easily be arrived at far too hastily. Whether one refers to caves that are to 
be found on the sea-shore or to caverns met with in the inland limestone 
districts, there are on all sides a great many subjects to be considered in 
forming our conclusions. I cannot help referring to one peculiarity in 
regard to caves, which, perhaps, Professor Hughes has not seen, but which 
I have noticed in a district to the east of Ingleborough, namely, at 
Swaledale, in the locality of Grinton Moor, where one finds on going 
through the caves the joints in some of the beds are enlarged in a curious 
fashion. The caves there, where the miners find the most valuable lead 
ores, are longitudinal, and present appearances so numerous, and so 


obviously showing the results of the very long continued action of sub- 
terranean streams, that one is puzzled as to what has occurred there, and at 
a loss to connect what is seen with those great bodies of water which may 
through the weathering of the limestone, have washed everything out. 
There no boulders are to be seen nothing but the most beautifully fine 
dolomitic sand and crystallised lead ores, sometimes showing in large masses, 
like sides of bacon. In the Forest of Dean there are similar openings, 
where a valuable iron ore is found, the other materials in these caves also 
being almost entirely dolomitic. I should like to hear from Professor Hughes 
whether he has observed anything of the kind at Ingleborough. Here let 
me say that I think one of the most important lessons we have to learn is, 
the great caution that ought always to be observed in seeing that our obser- 
vations are made with scientifically systematic precision ; and, in the next 
place, in only accepting statements that are made as to these matters when 
they are founded on exact work of this kind, undertaken by experienced 
persons, well qualified to judge of the mode in which cave-openings have 
been formed as well as of the mode in which they have been filled. 

Mr. J. STALKART. I should like, in saying a few words on this subject', 
to know whether the history of the tigers and hyaenas, whose remains are 
found in the caverns spoken of, is different from that of the tigers and 
hyenas now existing in different parts of the world 1 Ordinarily, when a 
tiger or hyaena kills any animal he does not drag it into a cave, but eats it 
where it has been seized ; it is only when it has young to feed that it drags 
the carcase to its den . A lion does not carry its prey up a mountain side ; 
it lies in wait near the track of the animal it kills, and there takes its fill. 
The hyaena might drag its prey down a hill, but would hardly drag it uphill. 
We know that in India these animals kill and eat their prey on the spot, 
only sometimes carrying their prey a short distance. They may quarrel 
over the remains, and drag pieces hither and thither ; but, for the most 
part, they eat where they kill ; that which they leave is chiefly the head. 
Suppose a bullock that has died a natural death is found : the jackals 
quarrel over it ; a leg is drawn here, and another there, but the greater 
portion of the carcase is left, and the head, which they cannot gnaw, in- 
variably remains. Therefore, I am not inclined to believe that these caves 
were the resort of hyaenas in the manner alleged. I think we ought to in- 
quire into the fact whether the hyaenas referred to by geologists had habits 
differing from those of similar animals at the present day. 

Mr. S. E. PATTISON, F.G.S. I take it that the hyaenas spoken of as 
found in caves were not only inhabitants of those recesses, but made 
incursions in search of prey. In Somersetshire the existence of the lion is 
too well attested to admit of any doubt, and the fair inference from the 
bones found in the caves is that they were dragged there. It is, however, 
by no means certain that all the hyaena and other bones found in caverns 
were those of animals dragged in : doubtless many of them are those of 


animals that died a natural death where they are found. I am sure we 
ought to be thankful that Professor Hughes, during his Ingleborough ex- 
plorations, was able to escape being made a martyr to science ; for I can 
understand, having travelled those moors myself, how easily an accident of 
a serious nature might have occurred. As to the paper this evening, it fully 
bears oat Professor Hughes's promise to tell us all about the operations of 
nature in forming and filling these rocky caves ; and not only has he kept 
his word in this respect, but he has given us a graphic and picturesque 
account of the exceptional meteorological circumstances which sometimes 
act as factors in these transactions. With regard to the glacial period, 
it may be gathered that there was first of all a glacial period ; then a 
pluvial period which has been slightly referred to as that of a Deluge ; then 
the period in which there was the final subsidence of the land and the accu- 
mulation of modern gravels which we now behold. The controversy arises as 
to whether the animals whose bones are found in the caves lived before the 
glacial period or afterwards. What I have to say on this point is that the 
glacial period is really a sort of sliding scale. Its effects may have been 
felt at one spot and not at another at the same time, so that there must 
h we been constant wasting at one time and place and constant accumulation 
at another ; the result being that life may have made its appearance, and 
then its evidences may have been mechanically covered up by the changes. 
1 he subject is one of extreme difficulty, and I should say it is impos- 
sible, as far as dogmatic assertion goes, to say much more than this. I quite 
agree with Sir Warington Smyth t.hat these matters should be dealt with 
by geologists with the utmost caution, especially with regard to the 
conditions of life during the glacial period. With regard to the animals 
found in the Kentucky Cave, Professor Hughes thinks that certain of the 
features to which he refers in the case of those creatures have been modified 
by their surroundings ; but the fact is that there is no trace of modification, 
for, as far as our knowledge goes, the features there remarked have always 
been the same, the long antennre and absence of wings in the insects he 
alludes to having been constant. Consequently, I cannot see the force 
of producing these as proofs of evolution. Then, as to the mushrooms in 
the fairy lings, which, it is said, are prevented from growing inside 
through the material being exhausted, so that there the species become 
extinct; I submit that the species does not become extinct. The individual 
dies, but not the species ; and, although it may be speculated on as a theory, 
we have no instance of a species dying out in that way. I will not now 
enter into any argument upon the point, but simply claim to enter a caveat 
against it. 

Mr. D. HOWARD, V.P.C.S. It seems to me that the paper to which we have 
just listened is one of exceptional value, not merely on account of the inherent 
interest of the subject, but from the very useful and sound method of study 
it puts before us. It was, I think, a most fortunate accident that led 


Professor Hughes to Ingleborough at the time of the great storm, the effects 
of which he has described, because a more accurate and valuable account of 
that catastrophic incident could not have been furnished. The subject 
is one of very great importance in many ways. The more we are struck 
with the continuity of causation, the more must we guard against circum- 
stances which carry the idea too far, especially in regard to questions 
connected with chemistry, which afford abundant examples of the danger 
of carrying this theory beyond its legitimate scope. We have many 
examples of stalagmites forming with perfect regularity, and we assume 
that the process has been going on from endless time. I have twice seen 
the Ingleborough Cave. The first occasion was during a very wet summer, 
when a vast deal of water came down, not in torrents, but with a very 
rapid formation of stalagmite. The autumn following was very dry, and 
the stalagmitic formation not so rapid, and I could not help thinking how 
utterly impossible it must be to form anything like an accurate judgment 
of the speed of formation when the process was shown to be going on at 
two different rates. It is not merely the action of carbonic acid in the 
destruction of the rock that strikes one, but the wonderful way in which 
the solvent process goes on hollowing out the lime and disintegrating the 
stone, until some flood occurs and washes away vast quantities of the broken 
up debris. This is specially the case in the carbonated rocks, where you get 
a more rapid solution than in other cases ; because the rock is honey- 
combed and cut to pieces in a wonderful manner, so that it goes to pieces 
with a comparatively small rush of water. Throughout the whole of this 
question you must bear in mind that a very slight alteration in the balance, 
whether of the carbonic acid produced by the surface vegetation, or in the 
proportion of water to carbonic acid, may make a very wide difference in 
the result. The presence of a little more or less silica in the water may 
make a vast difference in the mode in which the travertine is deposited. 
Any one who has had experience in connexion with steam boilers knows 
full well that you may have it deposited in an exceedingly hard scale if 
there be a sufficient amount of silica to cement it together ; or, if this is not 
the case, it may exist as an exceedingly soft powder, which blows away 
directly the blow-off cock of the boiler is opened ; in the same way it is 
not merely the percentage of carbonate of lime that is dissolved and set 
free by the evaporation of the carbonic acid, but whether there is sufficient 
cementing action going on to form a solid mass to resist the inflow of the 
water. One cannot help being struck with the amount of careful knowledge 
displayed by the author of this paper. He goes back to the most minute 
forms of things. This is what Lord Bacon did many years ago ; but the 
lesson is one that has not been fully learned yet, although it is refreshing to 
find that it has been acquired and put in practice by Professor Hughes. 

Sir WARINGTON W. SMYTH (taking up from the table a pipe encrusted 
with stalagmitic^deposit) asked how long it had taken to produce that result. 
I Professor HUGHES said he was unable to say. 


Sir WARINQTON W. SMYTH. I have seen a pipe as large as this filled 
up in two years. 

Professor HUGHES then replied, saying : A question has been raised 
by Sir Warington Smyth as to how the bones got into the caverns. That, 
question is one that ought to be asked with regard to each cave separately. 
There is, first, the suggestion that the bones may have been washed in from 
above. I have discussed this point (p. 14). Or the bones may have been 
carried in by animals that inhabited the caves ; and then we have to con- 
sider whether these caves were ever hyaena dens, whether the beasts of the 
present day behave in the same way as those whose remains are found in 
the caves appear to have done. Dr. Buckland found that they do. He 
examined carefully the bones of the animals gnawed by hyaanas, and 
found the marks of teeth on the bones so dealt with, and that those 
bones which had marrow in them or some little flesh adhering to them 
have had splinters torn away, or are altogether broken up. Thus, 
it is clear, from the accumulation of evidence, that hyrenas were there, 
and had dragged in the remains of many of the larger animals which are 
found lying about. In some cases we find, instead of a mass of broken 
bones, the bones lie whole upon the floor of the cave. This seems to have 
been the case where the remains of bears are found ; it is different 
when we have a hyrena den. It is evident that, in determining these 
questions, a great many things have to be taken into account. As 
to the way in which the carcases are dealt with, we must remember 
that, when the krger animals have done with them, the smaller ones 
come in, the foxes, the rats, and the mice, all of them pulling the bones 
about. We trace them by the marks of their little teeth. Thus, you may 
find the bones drawn up into crevices into which they could not have been 
carried by the larger animals. Once, at Cambridge, I was shown a set of 
bones that ought not to have been in the gravels, from which they were 
said to have been obtained. I went and asked the workmen where they 
got them. They showed me the place, and told me they were in a sort of 
hole stretching from one point to another across the corner of the pit. I 
cleared out and examined the hole, and noticed in it a series of claw-marks, 
showing that the place had been used by badgers and foxes. Thus we had 
another example of the way by which the bones were conveyed into places 
\\ here the larger animals could not have taken them nor water have washed 
them. Or, again, the bones may be those of animals which died in the cave 
bears, for instance. In one case the bats were described as furnishing, in 
the shape of their own bones, a large portion of the deposit. Thus, it will be 
seen, we have to go from one thing to another to arrive at the true explana- 
tion. Those animals came there, lived there, and died there, and the 
remains of bats covered the whole of the bottom of the cave. Owls and 
other birds of prey also bring in remains of animals, as I pointed out in the 
case of Cave Ha. The same kind of thing has been noticed in America, 
where in the upper layers of cave-deposits are, in a number of cases, found 


the pellets o owls, and lower down the bones of small animals, packing 
all the interstices. Therefore, it is necessary that in every case we should 
consider how the bones found in a particular cave got there. 

Mr. STALK ART. They do not eat in caves. We find in India that 
the tiger will not go into a cave where he has a wilderness or jungle at 
hand. This is so in the case of the tigers close by the Himalayas ; but 
another tiger, which is rather smaller, and is found on the other side of the 
Ganges, does go into caves, and has there been shot in the most plucky 
manner by British officers. If you get evidence from those caves of such a 
deposit of bones as has been described, then, doubtless, the inference which 
has been drawn will hold good. It may be that the hya?nas spoken of may 
have gnawed the bones before they got into the caves. When a lion or 
t'ger has killed an ox or other large animal, and sucked the blood or eaten 
part of the flesh, the jackals go to the carcase and finish the work, or the 
vultures assemble and tear it to pieces. 

Professor HUGHES. We have not found traces of the tigers behaving 
otherwise than according to their ordinary habits at the present time. We 
do, however, find remains of hysenas in the caves, and, as we are informed, 
the hysenas of to-day do leave their marks on the bones of the animals they 
eat, and other traces, just such as are found in the caves, and that, I think, 
is sufficient. With regard to the glacial epoch, I have confined myself to 
what has happened in one particular valley, and asked what is the order of 
events found there, for the glacial conditions found in another hemisphere 
can make uo difference as far as this particular matter is concerned. The 
record of intermediate forms is exceedingly rare. If we could find in any 
of these caves a set of deposits representing every stage in the growth of 
cavern-deposits, we should possibly get all the various developments of the 
intermediate forms of life ; but, not having these, we say that the remains we 
find are those of creatures which do suit their surroundings, and differ 
from the nearest allied forms by modifications such as might be carried 
out according to the laws of evolution as worked out and observed 
within the limits of our lives. It is one of those cases in which you have an 
hypothesis founded in the first place on one bit of evidence, and then 
supported by the comparison of that with another bit of evidence, 
until you get more and more data added to what was at first insufficient 
and the foundation of a tentative hypothesis only, and in the end you 
come to the conclusion that nothing but that hypothesis will fit in 
with all the observations made. With regard to what has been said about 
the fairy rings, what I meant was that the plant became locally extinct 
within the circle, and, if its possible area of growth were limited, and it 
were pushed to the margin, it might, in the same way, become totally 
extinct. As to species having died out, I need only mention the sea-cow, 
the dodo, and the auk. 

Mr. PATTISON. I did not mean it in that way. 

Professor HUGHES. Then, we are agreed. All we have to do is to show 


that species do appear under such conditions, thit we may say they have 
been modified to suit certain laws, and that they die away when the sur- 
roundings are unsuitable. As to the rate of modification, I will only 
mention the change in the character of shells produced by the introduction 
of unfavourable conditions, such as fresh or salt water, and refer to the vast 
mass of evidence given by Darwin, iu his work on Plants and Animals 
under Domestication. 

The meeting was then adjourned. 






W. P. JAMES, ESQ., F.L.S. 






i flje Iiuftttute) 




S. AFRICA : JUTA & Co., Cape Town. 


Esq., F.L.S. 

1. TTTHEREVER the word Evolution comes in, it is well to 
V V begin with stating in what sense it is used. For 
the present purpose it will be limited to its proper biological 
meaning, for it is only in the province of life that it can be 
considered as anything more than a hazy synonym for develop- 
ment. What process it can possibly express in the inorganic 
world I am at a loss to conceive. But as understood by 
Zoologists and Botanists it is perfectly intelligible ; to them 
it is equivalent to the Theory of Descent, that is, to the 
hypothesis that the forms of animal and vegetable life which 
surround us have descended by modification from their pre- 
decessors in time. In itself this is a most interesting and 
fascinating question, and no thoughtful student of nature can 

dream of answering it off-hand. It may be partially true or 
not, but the evidence at present available cannot be con- 
sidered as warranting a verdict that will satisfy everybody. 
The solution, if solution there be, must he in the fossil-bearing 
strata. If the record of those strata be accepted as hopelessly 
imperfect, it seems almost useless even to discuss a problem 
for which sufficient data are wanting. But it may be ques- 
tioned whether the geological record can fairly be considered 
as uniformly imperfect, at any rate, to such an extent as to 
preclude any inferences for or against Evolution. It is from 
this point of view that I propose briefly to set before the 
Institute the facts of Fossil Botany in their bearing upon the 
Theory of Descent. 

2. Divisions of the Vegetable Kingdom. But before entering 
upon the subject it will be useful briefly to indicate the prin- 
ciples upon which the larger groups or sub-kingdoms of the 
vegetable world are constituted. It would be rash to take 
for granted any general acquaintance with the subject, as 
Botany has always had less attraction for the outside public 
than her zoological sister ; and this assertion may be extended 
to Fossil Botany. The extinct races of plants have no sur- 
prises for the untrained eye so great as the monstrous Icthyo- 
saur or the weird Pterodactyl, no series of forms so splendid 
as the long array of Ammonites and Encrinites. Some 
acquaintance with insignificant plants still living is required 
before the mind grasps the meaning of Club-mosses and 
Horse-tails, which reached the stature of forest trees, or 
understands that in their way they are as surprising as 
the giant Sloth or the Mastodon. 

Plants are divided, in the first place, into two vast series, 
those with and those without flowers, Phanerogams and 
Cryptogams. Old and obvious as is this distinction, it is 
eminently natural. Not only does it still hold good, but is, if 
possible, only brought out into stronger relief by our increase 
of knowledge. A wide gulf still yawns between the seed- 
bearing Phanerogam and the spore-producing Cryptogam. 
The assertion that it is at all affected by modern research is at 
variance with obvious facts. True seeds, containing an embryo 
plant with rudimentary axis and appendages, are strictly con- 
fined to Phanerogams, and are exclusively the result of the 
fertilisation of ovules by pollen-grains through the immediate 
agency of the air. On the other hand, fertilisation, properly 
so called, in Cryptogams invariably demands the presence of 
water, and never results in a seed. Again, the asexual spore 
so frequent in Cryptogams is totally absent from Phanerogams; 
in the fern, for instance, it is the antherozoids of the prothallus 


and not the spores of the mature plant which correspond to 
pollen-grains. Even in the Selaginella, which has sexual 
differentiation in its microspores and macrospores, the micro- 
spores give origin still to true antherozoids requiring the 
intervention of water. Apart, then, from the valid mark 
involved in the distinction between Flowering and Flowerless 
plants, Phanerogams and Cryptogams may also be accurately 
described as air-fertilised and water-fertilised, in doing which 
we indicate a gap which no theory can bridge over. But 
when we have thus got our first great division of Cryptogams, 
we do not know what to do with it. It is, in fact, an un- 
manageable aggregate of groups separated from each other by 
such tremendous intervals as, for instance, that between the 
Diatom and the Tree-fern. The botanist is obliged to treat it 
as the zoologist has treated the cognate term Invertebrate, 
that is, to break it up into more natural series. It is a mere 
question of names whether these should be called sub-kingdoms 
or not. As to their independent value and wide divergence 
there is no difference of opinion. Provisionally we may 
establish three of these sub-kingdoms, the Thallophytes, 
Muscinece, and Pteridophytes, or, speaking roughly, the Algal 
type, the Moss type, and the Fern type. First comes the 
Thallopliytes, including the Algce, Fungi, and Lichens, the 
Oharacece being considered' as Algce in deference to the pre- 
ponderance of authority. 

Perhaps no other division of plants includes such vast 
diversity in form, size, and mode of reproduction. It links 
the minims of the vegetable world, the Diatoms, Micro-fungi, 
and Oscillatoriacece, with the huge kelp of the Pacific Ocean, 
one of the longest stems in the present epoch. But they all 
agree in consisting of cellular tissue to the exclusion of fibro- 
vascular bundles, in the absence, more or less complete, of a 
differentiation into root, stem, and leaf, and in the great 
complexity, with few exceptions, of their reproductive pro- 

Those not acquainted with natural science and more familiar 
with mathematical methods may consider this a very vague 
definition. But this difficulty is inherent in the subject. 
Nature, or rather living nature, abbors hard-and-fast lines. 
She refuses to run into our moulds, and shuts her eyes to our 
neat systems of classification. With reference to plants in 
general, there is scarcely a single statement which can be 
affirmed of them all without exception. We can say little 
more of them collectively than that they live and grow. For 
the fungi prevent us from predicating of all plants that they 
feed upon inorganic materials, that they contain starch, that 

they break up the carbon dioxide of the atmosphere by means 
of chlorophyll-bearing cells, and so on. 

Instead of vainly striving to cramp nature in the bonds of 
logic let us recognise this excessive elasticity of living forms. 
The late Professor Harvey has made such excellent remarks 
on this subject in the introduction to a book, now become 
rare, Manual of the British Marine Algae. (1849. Van Yoorst), 
that I shall take the liberty of quoting them : 

" Whoever has paid the slightest attention to the classifica- 
tion of natural objects, whether plants or animals, must be 
aware that if we desire to follow natural principles in forming 
our groups, that is, to bring together such species as resemble 
each other in habits, properties, and structure, it is a vain 
task to attempt to define, with absolute strictness, the classes 
into which we are forced to combine them. At least, no effort 
to effect this desirable object has yet been successful .... 
But it fortunately happens that these difficulties are much 

more formidable on paper than in the field 

The search into structure and affinities among the works of 
creation is something like that after first principles. We can 
distinguish and analyse up to a certain point ; there we are 
stopped by that invisible and intangible, but impassable veil, 
behind which the Creator hides his operations. At this point 
we must rest satisfied with differences which we can see, but 
which we cannot know or define " (pp. ix. and x. of Intro- 

The second great group of Cryptogams is the Moss alliance. 
Tiny as are most of its members, they generally possess a dis- 
tinct stem and leaves, and are invariably separated from Thallo- 
phytes by what is known as an alternation of generations, 
that is, by the occurrence of one form of the plant producing 
antheridia and archegonia, and of a second form arising as a 
peculiar result of the fertilised archegoriium,t'he spore-capsule, 
familiar to us in Bryaccce as the elegant Urn-frnit. Morpho- 
logically, this fruit is, as it were, a graft on the mother plant, 
and constitutes a phenomenon so isolated as to give a high 
value in a systematic point of view to the Muscinece. Dr. 
G-oebel, in a recent monograph on the mosses (Schenk's 
Handbuck der Botanik, vol. ii., p. 401), says : " We must 
accordingly be contented with affirming that the gulf between 
Mosses and Pteridophytes is the deepest that we know in the 
vegetable kingdom, and it is not made less by being bridged 
over by hypotheses and surmises." 

The third great group, the Pteridophytes or Fern type, 
is of immense importance from its prominence in geo- 
logical history. It is best divided into three classes, formed 

respectively by the Ferns and their allies, Club-mosses and 
their allies, and the isolated Horsetails, now reduced to 
a single genus. In this group first occurred forms of 
terrestrial vegetation, which would now be called trees. We 
must lay stress upon the word terrestrial, for no one can 
now tell what glorious and luxuriant algal forests may have 
grown in primeval seas, without leaving a trace behind them, 
except amorphous masses of graphite. The Pteridophytes 
are also known as the Vascular Cryptogams, in opposition to 
the two preceding groups, which may be called Cellular 
Cryptogams. They possess true roots and fibro- vascular 
bundles, and the capacity of taking on a woody structure. 
Dissimilar as the outward habit of a fern, a horsetail, and a 
club-moss may appear at first sight, they are all connected 
together by the character of their prothallus. This is a kind 
of nurse plant or preliminary stage, in which a cellular ex- 
pansion arises from the germinating spore, and in time pro- 
duces the anther idia and archegonia. From the fertilised 
archegonium springs the form which we call, in ordinaiy lan- 
guage, the fern or the horsetail, and this form, in its turn, 
gives rise exclusively to asexual spores. In the small group 
of Heterospores the extension and duration of the prothallus 
are so abbreviated that the two kinds of spores, the micro- 
spores and macrospores, approach in function very near to 
pollen-grains and ovules. But to the last antherozoids occur, 
and require water : a mark distinguishing the highest Hetero- 
spore from Phanerogams. 

Advancing now to Flowering plants, we have the advantage 
of being able to appeal to common knowledge. Everybody 
has some notion of a flower and its parts. The sub-kingdom 
of Phanerogams is divided into two classes, of equal systematic 
importance, but very unequal in extent. Here, as in earlier 
instance's, we must distinctly bear in mind that the vegetation 
of the present epoch is only a temporary phase of the develop- 
ment of plant-life. Paleeontology teaches us that classes now 
small in extent were once more important, and it is only by 
taking a broad view of past as well as of present life that we 
understand the relative value of the higher groups. In natural 
as well as in political history the present has its roots in the 
past, and is now determining the future. It is thus with the 
two classes of Phanerogams, Gymnosperms and Angiosperms. 
If we considered only the actual state of affairs, the Gymno- 
sperms would appear to be what they were considered in pre- 
geological times, a subordinate group. But when we know 
that they date as far back as the Devonian beds, we see their 
importance in the great plan of creation. The Gymosperms 


include the Conifers, the Cycads, and Gnetacece. Their flower 
is a true flower, but of a very simple type : a perianth is nearly 
always wanting, the sexes are always separate, the floral axis 
is often a real shoot and sometimes even branched, and finally 
the ovules are not contained in an ovary. The woody stem, 
however, of the Conifers is of a higher type than anything we 
have yet met with, having annual rings of growth and a 
distinct bark. It is usually said to approach the dicotyledonous 
type, but as it is incomparably the older, it would be more 
strictly correct to say that the dicotyledonous type represented 
by our oaks and elms is a more highly differentiated form of 
the gymnospermic. Lastly, we have the Angiosperms, in which 
the ovules are enclosed in an ovary. They are divided into 
Monocotyledons and Dicotyledons, and comprise all the familiar 
flowers, shrubs, and trees which surround us, and on which 
we need dwell no further. 

3. General Inference from Fossil Plants. The order in 
which we have taken these four groups is that of their 
respective simplicity, Thallophytes, Muscineee, Vascular Crypto- 
gams, Phanerogams. As far as the evidence of the rocks 
goes, it is also, on the whole, that of their first appearance in 
past time. To speak quite exactly, the remains have been 
found as follows : Alga3 are the earliest ; Vascular Crypto- 
gams then appear in company with Gymnosperms and a 
few Monocotyledons ; then comes the culmination of the 
Grymnosperms in the Cycads ; finally, the Dicotyledons emerge 
abruptly in the upper chalk. Fungi lichens and mosses are 
too soft to stand any chance of being preserved in the older 
rocks. So far then, as the record goes, it agrees with the 
natural arrangement given above. Now the Theory of Descent 
requires that the varied plants of the present epoch, trees, 
shrubs, and herbs, ferns, mosses, and seaweeds, should all 
alike be lineally descended from the algee of the most remote 
age, and, moreover, ultimately from the simplest forms of the 
algse, the Oscillatoriacece, which alone, as far as our knowledge 
goes, can live in hot water, and could, consequently, have 
flourished in the half-boiling ocean of the dim past. The 
rocks, accordingly, should present us with a series, more or 
less complete, of these supposed ancestors of existing plants. 
Is this the case ? To this question there is only one answer. 
Had we to consider only the fossil plants of the rocks, so far as 
known, no one in his senses would have been led to such an 
hypothesis. It would never have suggested itself to a botanist. 
No transitional forms are known between Algae and Mosses, 
between Mosses and Vascular Cryptogams, between Vascular 
Cryptogams and Phanerogams. Even if such links were found 

they would prove nothing as to their origin. The only fossil 
evidence that can prove that one species has been transmuted 
into another would be a vast number of intermediate forms 
between two species, shading off imperceptibly into one another. 
It is a matter of common knowledge that such a series is not 
yielded by the rocks. So tremendous is the force of this 
negative answer at first sight that it requires some very strong 
counter arguments to rebut it. 

4. Imperfection of the Record. As is well known the 
evolutionist's reply is to dwell upon the undoubted imperfec- 
tion of the record. He can, for instance, very fairly say that 
as no mosses have been preserved before the chalk, a great 
series of intermediate links between algae and mosses may 
have perished. Similar remarks apply to the lichens, fungi, 
and many other lowly plants. Who knows, he may say, 
what the lost pages of the great Stone book may have 
contained ? Intermediate forms would naturally be humble, 
insignificant plants, and it is not surprising that they have 
not been preserved. There is something in this, and we 
would wish it to carry its full weight to the hearer's mind. 
Are we then to leave the question entirely open as far as 
fossil botany is concerned ? 

5. Occasional Completeness of the Record. The best answer 
to this seems to be that whilst admitting the general incom- 
pleteness of the fossil history of past life, we must take care 
not to exaggerate it. For we cannot deny that here and 
there, at any rate, we have isolated pages, to continue our 
metaphor, which are crowded with illustrations. One of these 
occurs in each of the three great divisions of geologic time : 
in the Kainozoic we have some singularly complete memorials 
of Miocene date ; in the Mesozoic we find similar though less 
abundant representatives of the cretaceous land-flora; and, 
finally, in the Palaeozoic we have the confessedly rich remains of 
the coal measures. Surely, if it can be shown that each of 
these extinct floras is wonderfully illustrated in local strata, 
we shall be justified in drawing all the inferences we can from 
them. Three times the veil is withdrawn from the past, and 
three times we catch a glimpse of the character of the rich 
and beautiful vegetation then flourishing. 

6. Miocene Flora. In speaking of the Miocene Flora it 
will not be necessary to repeat the information on the subject to 
be found in all the accessible books on geology. Every one 
who has read Lyell's Principles, or even the briefer Student's 
Elements, will remember how fascinating the subject is. It is 
impossible here to attempt to separate the various sub- 
divisions of Miocene time ; we must confine ourselves to the 

general bearing of the whole epoch on Evolution so far as its 
plant-remains go. The most beautiful leaf-beds belong to 
the Upper Miocene, and are best seen at Oeningen, in the 
valley of the Rhine, between Constance and Schaffhausen. 
They have been explored by the late Professor Heer, whose 
noble work on the Tertiary Flora of Switzerland will form an 
imperishable monument to his name. At this spot there seems 
to have been a lake, probably fed by springs with water 
unusually charged with carbonate of lime. Along the margin 
of this lake a series of very fine marls were deposited, often 
as thinly laminated as the pages of a book. In these strata 
an astonishing number of leaves, fruits, and insects have been 
preserved. A small collection of them is to be seen at the 
British Museum, now in South Kensington. To give some 
idea of the completeness of the record for this particular 
epoch, it may be pointed out that of a kind of camphor-tree 
(Prinos Lavateri) distinct sprays are found with flowers, fruit, 
and leaves; that the well-known key-fruit of the maple 
abounds, together with countless leaves ; that on some remains 
leaf- fungi can be detected just as they now are developed in 
autumn ; and that the time of year when the deposit was made 
can often be inferred from the shoot being in its vernal or 
autumnal state, and from the ants having their wings or not. 
What, then, was the vegetation that surrounded this Swiss lake 
at a time before the Alps had undergone their last elevation ? 
First of all, not one plant of the present Swiss flora has been 
found. Secondly, the vegetation was very rich in trees, and on 
the whole had a resemblance to that of Florida, Mexico, Aus- 
tralia, and Japan. The number of woody plants was very great 
for so small an area. About 180 are known. These include 
swamp cypresses, evergreen oaks, laurels, elms, maples, 
acacias, liquidambar, and seven kinds of palms, including 
one (Sabal) similar to that now growing in the valley of the 
Mississippi. On the surface of the lake floated water-lilies, 
around its margin were reeds and rushes. The ferns are pre- 
cisely the same as our recent ones, only of a sub-tropical type, 
such as Lygodium a climbing fern, and Osmunda lipnitum. 
But it would be tedious to give anything like a complete list 
of the still-existing genera which are found in these strata. 
Every one who examines the remains must be forcibly struck 
by the extreme distinctness of the generic type ; for, great 
as must be the interval which separates us from these suc- 
cessive Miocene floras, all the genera are obviously as distinct 
from each other then as now. 

More than this, so great is the constancy of type in many 
cases that Professor Heer gives a list of plants in which 


probably the same species have survived to our own times . 
He considers seventy-two plants as probably ancestral forms 
actually identical with those now living. The following are 
some of them : 


Woodwardia Rcessneria = W. radicans (a Madeira fern). 

Aspidium Escheri = A. thelypteris (a marsh fern). 

Isoetes Braimii = I. lacustris (common water-plant). 

Taxodium dubium = T. distichum (American swamp-cypress) 

Glyptostrobus europseus = G. heterophyllus (Chinese cypress). 

Sequoia Langsdorfii = S. sempervirens (redwood). 

Sparganium valdense = S. ramosum (common water-plant). 

Liquidambar europseum = L. styracifluum (American shrub). 

Populus mutabilis = P. euphratica (Asiatic poplar). 

- P. 

Salix varians = S. fragilis (common crack willow). 

Ulmus Braunii = U. ciliata (elm). 

Planera ungeri = P. Richardi (tree allied to the elms). 

Platanus aceroides = P. occidentalis (plane-tree). 

Lauras princeps = L. canariensis (laurel of Canary Islands). 

Hakea salicina = H. saligna (Australian proteacean tree). 

Diospyros brachysepala = D. lotus (kind of ebony-tree). 

Besides these his list includes also the direct ancestors of three 
species of maples, of the tulip-tree, and so on. This extra- 
ordinary permanence of generic, and possibly even of specific 
type, is strongly opposed to any theory of variation. If 
genera, and possibly species, have changed so little in so vast 
a time there really is no room for the slow and secular trans- 
formation required by the Theory of Descent. Let no one 
underrate the value of this kind of evidence founded on leaves 
and flowers. The microscope is now able to decide points of 
affinity in plants to an extent never dreamed of in the earlier 
days of palaeontology. The cells of the epidermis, with their 
shape and arrangement, and the stomates which pierce it 
with their characteristic forms, are often sufficiently preserved 
in Miocene leaves to indicate the order, if not the genus, of 
a mere fragment. 

But there is another point of view from which the persist- 
ence of these genera is very striking. They have outlived a 
most remarkable change in the climate of Spitzbergen and 
Greenland. Genera of plants are still living in the warm 
temperate zone which once flourished within the present 
Arctic circle. This is well known as one of the greatest 
puzzles in geology ; but I am not now concerned with its 
solution. I am only pointing out that beeches, oaks, planes, 
poplars, and so on, are older than that extraordinary con- 
dition of our planet which allowed a vigorous growth of 


trees to take place within 12 of the pole. All the Arctic 
Miocene plants agree entirely with those of the Miocene 
beds of Central Europe. But this even is not all. Many of 
the genera found in the Miocene flora go further back still. 
They meet us in the chalk, the earliest flora of Dicotyledons. 
Dr. Lesquereux gives, in the Cretaceous Flora of the Western 
Territories (vol. vi. of U. S. Geological Survey, 1874), amongst 
others the following genera of trees as then existing : the 
alder, the birch, the oak, the laurel, the magnolia, the plane- 
tree, the willow, the sassafras, the sequoia, the tulip-tree. 
With pardonable pride the eminent American palseo-botanist 
remarks upon the great antiquity of the indigenous glories of 
the American woods, the magnolia and the tulip-tree. He 
justly remarks, " The magnolia, and its relative, the tulip- 
tree, are wonders of American nature quite as worthy admira- 
tion as the great Niagara or the mammoth trees of California" 
(Tertiary Flora, vol. vii., p. 247). But after describing frag- 
ments of tulip-tree leaves from the cretaceous beds he makes 
the following most valuable remarks (Cretaceous Flora, vol. vi., 
p. 124) : " Liriodendron, the tulip-tree, has in its characters, 
its distribution, and its life a great degree of affinity with 
magnolia. The American species is the only one known now 
in the vegetable world, and its habitat is strictly limited to 
this country. It does not ascend higher than the fortieth 
degree of latitude, except, perhaps, casually, like magnolia, 
under the protection of favourable local circumstances. The 
genus does not appear to have any disposition to modifications 
of its type, and to migrations. We have as yet scarcely any 
fossil remains of it in our Tertiary formations. In that of 
Europe, it is represented from Greenland to Italy by one species 
only. The leaves of different forms, described from the Dakota 
group as four species, may perhaps be referable to a single one, 
as the characters, especially the size, of the leaves may be local, 
and result from climatic circumstances. It has thus passed 
a solitary life. Even now, by the singular and exclusive form 
of its pale-green glossy leaves (i.e., four-lobed and looking as if 
the fifth apical lobe had been cut off, apparently a unique out- 
line) ; by its large cup-shaped yellow flowers, from which it has 
received its specific name ; by its smooth, exactly cylindrical 
stem, gracefully bearing an oblong pyramidal head of branches, 
grouped with perfect symmetry, it stands widely apart from 
the other denizens of our forests as a beautiful stranger, or 
rather as a memorial monument of another vegetable world. 
Either considered in its whole or in its separate characters, the 
tulip -tree is a universal and constant subject of admiration and 
wonder. It could be named, not the king, it is not strong 


enough for that, but the queen of our forests, if the magnolia 
was not there with it to dispute the prize of perfection by the 
still grander majesty of its stature, the larger size of its foliage, 
the elegance and the perfume of its flowers. Our sense of 
admiration for these noble trees is heightened still by the 
dignity of their ancient origin." 

Now we have heard a great deal lately about the variability 
of species. Whole books have been written to prove the very 
obvious proposition that plants and animals if placed under 
artificial conditions are likely to vary in an artificial manner. 
We have had enough of this one-sided collection of facts 
favourable to certain hypotheses. It is time also to say some- 
thing about the permanence of type to be found in nature. 
That there is something stable and fixed amidst all the varia- 
tion of living things is absolutely certain. To pass over species, 
it is undoubtedly true that many genera are extraordinarily 
stable, as we have seen to be the case with the maple, the 
oak, the tulip-tree, and so on, persisting from the chalk. 
But an illustration from the floras of distant lands in the 
present day will, perhaps, help us in another way to realise 
the astonishing constancy of some generic types. Suppose 
we take ship and get away as far as ever we can from our 
own island, we shall find ourselves at last amid the waste 
waters of the vast Pacific Ocean. Among these stormy waves 
rise almost at our antipodes the small islands known as Lord 
Auckland's group and Campbell's Island, visited by the pre- 
sent Sir J. Dalton Hooker during the Antarctic expedition of 
the Erebus and Terror under Sir James Ross, which lasted 
from 1839 to 1843. Lord Auckland's group lies in 50 30' S. 
lat. and 160 E. long.; Campbell's Island in 52 30' S. lat. and 
169 E. long. If we consult the magnificent Flora Antarctica, 
and gaze at the beautiful coloured portraits of the plants 
executed by the skilful hand of Mr. Fitch, we shall almost 
imagine ourselves landing upon these steep and desolate 
islands, formed of volcanic rock, " ever lashed by heavy swells 
and exposed to a succession of westerly gales." Still, in spite 
of rain and snow and fog, these lonely spots produce a flora 
rich in beautiful plants, a fact attributed by Sir J. D. Hooker 
to the comparative mildness and uniformity of their oceanic 
climate. However, what we wish at present to call atten- 
tion to is the constancy of generic type. Any novice 
in botany whilst exploring these lands would be able to 
name off-hand plant after plant as belonging to genera 
familiar to him in Great Britain. Nor would this be true only 
of these islets, but also of all the other fragments of Antarctic 
land, such as Kerguelen's Land, Falkland Islands, and so on. 


We do not say that most of the genera are European, but in 
each island there are some genera identical with those of 
Europe. Our imaginary traveller would at once know the 
species of Ranunculus from their leaves, flowers, fruit, and 
general habit. He would find Cardamine hirsuta, var. sub- 
carnosa, only differing from our common hairy Bitter Cress, to 
be found on any old walls, by its very fleshy leaves. He 
would see a Geranium (microphyllum) , extremely like our G. 
lucidum, two or three kinds of Epilobium or willow-herb, two 
lovely kinds of scorpion-grass (Myosotis], all of which would 
be familiar to him in a moment as new forms of well-known 

It does not require a botanist to detect them : any sharp, 
country-bred lad would say in a moment, " This is a butter- 
cup, that is codlins-and- cream )} (the provincial name of 
Epilobium}, and so on. It would be wearisome to go through 
all the European genera that thus reappear in Antarctic lands. 
I will briefly add two barberries, a ragwort, a cudweed, cur 
own dandelion identical in species, lovely gentians, a butter- 
wort in the Falkland Islands scarcely to be distinguished from 
Pinguicula lusitanica our own pale butterwort, a great many 
grasses, some ferns, very many mosses, fungi, and algae. 

This is merely introduced as a single instance of a pheno- 
menon that must be taken into account, the extension of many 
genera through widely-separated areas, and their astonishing 
constancy to their type. Let this fact be remembered as well 
as those of the variability of species. We have, in reality, 
two series of facts in living nature, some pointing to change 
and some to persistence, and our task is to reconcile them. It 
is certainly singular that often where the species are most 
unsatisfactory, as in the willows, the genus is, on the contrary, 
eminently natural ; and, as we know in this case, it is also a 
very ancient one, descended from the chalk. Again, where 
the genera are intricate, the order is wonderfully natural, as 
in the UmbeUiferce and Composites. However, enough, perhaps, 
has been said about this subject, and we will proceed to the 
Chalk Flora. 

7. Cretaceous Flora. We have already spoken of the 
antiquity of the genera of dicotyledonous trees which first 
occur in these beds.-* We will now confine ourselves to one 
single point, their abrupt appearance. It is generally ad- 
mitted that, as far as our knowledge goes, the Dicotyledons 
emerge suddenly in the upper chalk, without any previous 
hint of them in the preceding Jurassic beds, which were 
especially rich in cycads and ferns, and they occur, moreover, 
as representatives of the three great divisions, Apetalw, 


Monopetalce, and Polypetalce. The first that we can find are, 
to use Dr. Carruther's words, "not generalised types, but 
differentiated forms, which, during the intervening epochs, 
have not developed even into higher generic groups." 

To take, for instance, the Dakota group in North America, 
among its 130 species, as yet known, only one may be doubt- 
fully referred to the Cycads ; there are only five Cryptogams, 
six Conifers, and two Monocotyledons ; all the rest are Dico- 
tyledons, distributed into genera, much, as now ; of Apetalce 
it has Amentacece, Myricacece, Plataneas, Salicinece ; of 
Gamopetalce, Bicornes, Ebenacece, &c. ; of Polypetalce, Mag- 
iioliacece, Sapindacece, Menispermacece, &c. As Dr. Les- 
quereux says (Cretaceous Flora, p. 38) : " It has represen- 
tatives of all the classes of plants, without disproportion, in 
one degree or the other, as compared to what is considered 
the scale of the vegetable kingdom. This seems to prove a 
collateral development of different primitive types, and, 
therefore, the appearance at certain epochs of those original 
forms which, at each geological period, have changed the 
character of the vegetable world, and which do not have any 
connexion with antecedent types." Again, still more de- 
cidedly (p. 35), after remarking that it is easy to build up 
imaginary systems of derivation from supposed simple types, 
by mere deviations or multiplications of organs, he goes on: 
" But until we know more we have to consider the facts. 
And the conclusion evidently forced, at least in considering 
the flora of the Dakota group, is that its disconnexion from 
ancient types is so wide that even the supposition of inter- 
mediate, unknown, extinct vegetable types fails to account 
for the origination of its peculiar characters." 

So far as the evidence of the Upper Cretaceous Dicotyle- 
donous remains goes, it is decidedly opposed to the theory of 
descent. It is opposed to it in two ways. First, by the 
sudden emergence of the class already differentiated into sub- 
groups it irresistibly suggests some abrupt origin of that 
class, such as immediate creation. Secondly, by the proof of 
the persistence of generic types so complicated as that of the 
tulip-tree from that distant period to the present day without 
any apparent change, it negatives any theory which is built 
upon the indefinite variability of systematic characters. 

8. The Flora of the Coal Measures. We now come to the 
most fascinating of all the extinct floras, that of the Palaaozoic 
Coal Measures. The imagination is wonderfully attracted by 
the picture which science calls up of these old-world forests. 
Stretching for hundreds of miles along the swampy margins 
of estuaries, and covering the surface of their low deltas, they 


appear to have been uniform all over the world, even as near 
the pole as Spitzbergen. Club-mosses and horsetails were 
trees in bulk and stature, though ungainly to our eyes with 
their angular forked branching, their spiral rows of stiff 
leaves, and their grotesque fructification. Mingled with these 
interesting though unlovely exaggerations were the beautiful 
lace-like fronds of tree-ferns, as well as a thick carpet of 
the lowlier species, and also scattered Cycads and Conifers. 
No birds built their nests in this monotonous jungle, no 
bees or butterflies lighted up a world destitute of colour 
and fragrance. But life was, nevertheless, abundant in 
these thickets, though of an unattractive kind, molluscs 
and myriapods, and wood-boring beetles. Now, the first 
thing that strikes us in examining the fossil remains of this 
flora is the extraordinary abundance and perfection of the 
impressions of ferns. Their state of preservation is often 
marvellous. It should be remembered also by those who 
only see them in cabinets that those collected are but a fraction 
of those noticed by the observant naturalist. Very often the 
shale in which they lie buried is so brittle that the collector 
only catches a passing glimpse of a lovely impression before 
the matrix crumbles to pieces as he tries to grasp it. It seems 
impossible in the face of this abundance of remains to deny 
that at any rate we have here a fairly complete record of local 
floras. So far as it goes it can be trusted. As the date of the 
palaeozoic coal measures must in any case be very remote, they 
evidently supply us witha crucial test for the Theory of Descent. 
If that theory were true, the lines of vegetable pedigree should 
be at that time visibly converging. For instance, the three 
great classes of Vascular Cryptogams ought to be far nearer to 
each other then than they are now. Is this the case ? Noto- 
riously the answer is in the negative. Ferns, horsetails, and 
club-mosses are not only not converging, but are, if anything, 
further removed from each other than now. The two latter 
groups then reached their culminating point both in the size 
of individuals, the number of genera, and the complexity of 
structure. The Lepidodendrons and Sigillarias had a kind of 
woody structure feebly represented in their present herbaceous 
representatives. So also had the huge Calarnites, Calamoden- 
drons, and Equisetites which have now dwindled down to a 
solitary genus Equisetutn. The peculiar spores of many of the 
fossil genera are found in vast abundance, and proclaim unmis- 
takably their affinity to the modern survivals. 

The ferns still flourish, but at that period they were 
evidently of greater relative importance than now. At 
present about forty species grow in the British Islands, but 


130 fossil species have been found in the coal shale in the 
same area. Dr. Carruthers also tells us that a group of ferns 
has entirely passed away with a stem-structure fundamentally 
different from any now in existence. All these distinctions 
are equally prominent in the still older Devonian remains. 
So far back as we can trace the three great'groups of Vascular 
Cryptogams they move in parallel and not in converging lines. 
The importance of this fact is so enormous that it seems, to 
dispose of the question for ever ; for there is really not t 1 me 
enough left before the Devonian beds to allow a primitive 
cryptogamic form to vary into three such strongly-marked 
and highly specialised groups of descendants. Then, again, 
as Lyell remarks, it is astonishing how little ferns have 
altered since their first appearance, so that possibly even the 
genus Pteris is a survival from the carboniferous age. If they 
have varied so little during such an enormous period of time, 
why should they be supposed to have varied immensely just 
before the commencement of that time ? And is it not a 
singular fact that all the remains which would support the 
theory of the derivation of the three groups from an older form 
have been lost ? 

The same story is told by the other vegetable remains of 
the coal measures : thus the Conifers are represented by 
the Taxinece, or Yew alliance, a highly specialised form. 
FQV the present the opponent of tbe Theory of Descent 
may take up an impregnable position behind his fortress of 

9. Do Synthetic Types prove Evolution ? Synthetic types, 
i. e., those which are supposed to combine the characteristics 
of separate orders or classes, are considered by many as 
a proof of Evolution. Let us bring this assumption to the 
test of fact. I suppose the Cycads are a synthetic type. 
They resemble ferns in the circinate vernation of the leaves 
and in the sorus-like aggregation of pollen-sacs ; in their 
dioecious, entirely naked flowers, crowded into cones, they 
partly resemble Conifers and partly Equiseta. In the processes 
of germination they resemble the higher Vascular Cryptogams. 
In their general habit they are like Palms. Here, I imagine, 
we have what is usually called a synthetic type. Now, 
according to the Theory of Descent it ought to have been 
prior in time to the Ferns, Conifers, and Palms, the charac- 
teristics of which it combines. As a matter of fact it is later 
than Ferns and Conifers. We ought, according to theory, to 
trace a series of diverging forms starting from it. As a 
matter of fact, we find it an isolated group throughout all its 
existence. We see the first scattered indications of its coming 


in the coal measures, but it is especially in the oolite and 
other mesozoic strata that it culminates, and then it dwindles 
away until the present epoch, when it still nourishes in about 
fifty species, distributed under seven genera. Such is the 
life history of a synthetic type, and it is no wonder that 
evolutionists say very little about it. 

10. Conclusion. No fossil botanist had a profounder know- 
ledge of the vast Tertiary flora than Dr. Heer of Zurich. On 
such a subject as this I cannot close ray paper better than 
with his striking remarks at the end of his fascinating book 
On the Primeval World of Switzerland : 

" The deeper we penetrate into the knowledge of nature 
the more thorough becomes our conviction that only the 
belief in an Almighty and all-wise Creator who has made 
Heaven and Earth after an eternally predetermined plan 
can solve the riddle of nature as well as those of human 

NOTE. The author must state his obligations throughout 
the paper to Mr. Carruthers's Presidential Address to the 
Geologists' Association, as reported in the Geological Magazine, 
1876, p. 560. 

Count Saporta's attempt to weaken the argument from the 
carboniferous flora is hardly successful; indeed, his chapter 
on Evolution in his interesting book on Fossil Plants is too 
obviously a rechauffe of an article in the Revue des Deux 
Mondes, and hardly does justice to the scientific eminence of 
that patient investigator of the Aix Cretaceous Flora. 


The CHAIRMAN (D. HOWARD, Esq., F.I.C.) We have to thank Mr. 
James for his most interesting paper, which is well worthy of our 
careful attention. (Applause.) It would appear, from the course of his 
varied remarks, that in dealing with the whole question of evolution 
it is, first of all, necessary that we should make up our minds as to 
what we mean by " evolution." If we simply mean that there is in nature 
a plan of development, we must, I think, accept that as a self-evident 
truth. In point of fact, the word "evolution" is often used with the 
same vagueness that is characteristic of the way in which we employ the 
word" affinity" in chemistry in order to express the tendency to combine, 
which is evidenced by two substances that are related as little as possible to 
each other. In a similar way, the term " development " is frequently used to 
express almost anything in the world except that which, grammatically or 
logically, is meant by that word. But when we come to consider the ques- 
tion of development, with reference to what is commonly assumed to be the 
case namely, that the differentiations of nature have taken place by a slow 
and gradual process continually going on at approximately the same rate, 
investigations such as those which have been conducted by Mr. James 
become invaluable as arguments for or against the evolution theory. The 
whole study of botany is most fascinating, and one cannot but wish that 
Mr. James had had time to have worked out some of the points he has 
touched upon more fully than he has been able to do within the limits of 
this paper. I may just allude to one feature which to me is very striking 
in the study of botany, and that is, the amazing development of structure 
evidenced in some of the elementary forms of plant life. A good many 
people know a mushroom when they see it ; but how many are there who 
know anything of the life-history of that plant 1 Its apparently simple 
structure and spontaneous growth are familiar to all of us ; but how many 
have the least knowledge of the elaboration of structure or the extraordinary 
complexity of the stages of development through which it goes ? In a 
vague kind of way, we know something about a certain object which goes by 
the name of mushroom spawn ; but very few of us know anything of the 
real bearings of that spawn on the developed plant, or of the different phases 
through which it has had to pass. And, if this be true in regard to so simple 
a form of plant life, with how much greater force does it apply to the more 
elaborate forms? I may say, also, that the fact which Mr. James has 
pointed out, that the extremely complex processes of reproduction 
which are noticed in plant life at the present day are to be found 
presenting exactly the same characteristics in the earliest forms of the great 
divisions of the natural orders of plants, as shown in the very earliest 
appearances they evidence in the record of the rocks, is one which it behoves 
those who believe in the theory of regular evolution to explain, before they 
call upon us to assume that that theory is proved. (Applause.) Here, in 
the plant world, we have not merely the great divisions of nature just as 
widely separated in the earliest appearances found in fossil remains as they 


are at the present time, and with no intermediate links, but we find special 
genera, just as distinct from the other genera as their descendants or pre- 
sent representatives are from the different genera which are nowadays found 
on the earth. For instance, we cannot for a moment doubt, when we 
regard the first appearance afforded us of the tulip-tree, that in it we recog- 
nise the same tulip-tree as now exists, just as we also recognise in the stu- 
pendous lizards of the past the same type of lizards we see now. No one 
doubts that the creatures whose fossil remains we find were lizards. Even 
the uncultivated countryman, or those not so learned as the countryman in 
objects of natural history, would recognise the essential characteristics of 
the early tulip-tree. Do any of us who grow roses know how impossible it 
is to classify roses? In this case we have a singularly plastic genus, 
capable of cultivation into almost infinite varieties, and yet the result is always 
a rose. We never find a rose developing into anything other than a rose, 
and yet, within the limits of variation, the variety is almost infinite. If 
there were no strict lines within which nature is confined, why should not 
all species of plants be simply varieties of one original, such as we see in the 
case of the rose ? and why should there not be intermediate links which are 
now absent ? It is only by the familiar study of plants that we are able to 
appreciate the force of this argument ; but the argument, in its main out- 
lines, appears to me to be one which any person who knows anything of 
nature may readily follow, and one also which it would be well to pursue, 
not merely to the extent to which this paper carries it, but even further, in 
order that we may be the better able to understand the marvels of creation ; 
for it is evident that nothing but a creative power could have caused the 
differentiations we see around us. If it be said of evolution that it has 
taken place very rapidly at one period, and very slowly at another, that, 
in point of fact, it has proceeded by fits and starts, we may very fairly 
exclaim, That is quite another matter ; and here I would broadly say that, if 
this is what is meant, then we may assert that evolution is simply claimed 
as a form of creation which as much requires the exercise of a creative 
power as any other form of creation. It is impossible for us to consider in 
what forms creative energy can be exhibited, or to limit its possibilities 
but such an evolution as this undoubtedly demands a creative energy just 
as much as is needed by any form of belief in creative power. In saying 
this, I must not be supposed to deny that, even if the gradual process of 
evolution were proved, it would just as much require creative energy to 
account for it as is needed by any other form of creative power. The result 
is that, do what they will, the evolutionists are utterly unable to escape from 
the necessity of a Creator ; and, therefore, the question is not a vital one 
for the theist. I will conclude by saying that, in the interests of truth 
and sound knowledge, papers like this are invaluable as a means of bringing 
to book those modern theories which are very popularly expounded, but 
which it is found very difficult accurately to prove. (Applause.) 
Captain FRANCIS PETRIE, F.G.S. (Hon. Secretary). Before this discussion 


commences, I have to read two letters, their writers being unable to be pre- 
sent ; the first is from Sir Eichard Owen, K.C.B., F.R.S. 

" Sheen Lodge, Richmond Park, East Sheen, March 14, 1885. 

" DEAR SIR, I have the honour to return my best respects and thanks to 
the Council of the Victoria Institute, and regret that my present state of 
health forbids me to quit the house. 

" The ' Unrevised Proof/ which I now return, has enabled me to pass a 
most interesting and instructive hour with the accomplished author of 
the 'Relations of Fossil Botany to the Theories of Evolution.' 

" I much regret that I cannot listen to the Paper and to the Discussion it 
will occasion. I shall deem it a favour to have a copy, when issued. 
Believe me, faithfully yours, RICHARD OWKN. 

" Captain Francis Petrie." 

The second communication is from J. Braxton Hicks, Esq., M.D., F.R.S., 
who would have been present but for a severe cold. He says : 

" The lines followed by the author of this paper seem to be excellent, and 
with the introductory remarks I quite agree. The great question of Evo- 
lution is not yet settled ; far from it ; probably it never will be absolutely 
proved ; at any rate, until it is so, opinions on it can only be formed on 
probabilities ; and the relative value of these can only be arrived at by 
examining facts, bearing on the question, with the thoroughness and patience 
shown by the author of the Origin of Species. Till this is accomplished, 
and it is a great work, and till every point on either side, be carefully 
balanced, it will be considered that his conclusions have not been answered. 
The argument based on the imperfection of the geological records obviously 
cuts both ways ; like as it enables the evolutionist to escape from the demand 
for demonstration of the transitional forms, so it also enables his opponent 
to claim that the absence of any ancestor identical with existing species is 
no proof of its never having existed. And here the argument of Mr. 
James comes fairly in, and shows that where the records of the past are 
copiously revealed, there is a persistence of species and genera, remark- 
able on the theory that a constant slow change is always occurring. 
Most of those who have advocated the theory of evolution, have, so it 
appears to me, jumped to conclusions not warranted by the evidence; and 
then, having treated possibilities as proved facts, have overlooked what can 
be said on the other side, being carried away by the enthusiasm engendered 
by the apparent squaring of the theory with the facts observed. .By this 
and kindred actions a hasty and spurious philosophy has taken the place of 
the former painstaking inquiry after knowledge ; and thus true philosophy is 
discredited. Had all the work on this subject been brought forward as 
" contributions," and not as final conclusions, we should have advanced 
sooner towards the solution of the question. To state, as some have done, 
that the subject is settled, and that all who dissent are the reverse of acute, 
shows an inadequate conception of the difficult problem before us." 

Mr. W. CARRUTHERS, F.R.S. I have to express the pleasure with which 
I first read and have just listened to Mr. James's paper, in which I 
think he has very clearly stated the case he desires to establish. I have but 
little to offer in the shape of criticism, and still less by way of supplement. I 
accept, to a great extent, what Mr. James has put before us as a concise 

statement of the evidence to be derived from plants in relation to theories of 
evolution. There are, perhaps, one or two slips which I might correct, but 
they are not of more importance than typographical errors, and are, at the 
most, very slight. I think he has done well to insist on the permanence of 
generic, and, perhaps, even of specific types ; because this is what really lies 
at the root of the whole question. I have traced some species as far back as 
the glacial period species that are now living on this globe, but which 
belong not only to highly-organised plants, but to the lower cellular plants, 
and about which there cannot be the slightest doubt. This, of course, demands 
a very long time indeed for the development if they were developed of 
the existent species ; but when we go back, as Mr. James has taken us, to 
the origin of the various types of plant life, and see that the dicotyledonous 
plants made their appearance, as far as we know and, of course, we cannot 
argue beyond the extent of our knowledge in the upper cretaceous beds, 
that they then suddenly presented themselves in a large number of 
forms representing all the main sections of this division of the vegetable 
kingdom, and that their remains can all be referred to existing generic 
types, it seems to me to be utterly impossible that any explanation 
can be given that can bear out the theory of evolution by genetic 
descent. This remark is, I think, equally true with regard to the lower 
divisions. I think Mr. James has put the position he has taken very 
clearly in regard to the vascular cryptogams in the coal measures. That 
those three forms, so widely separated from each other, even in those early 
times, should have continued to exist and to maintain their differences of 
character down to the present time, is, I think, a fact which is strongly 
opposed to the evolution theory. I am, however, only expressing my general 
belief in the strength of Mr. James's arguments. I might, perhaps, object to 
the point he makes as to the synthetic types. For my own part, I am not 
acquainted with a single synthetic type in the vegetable kingdom. I do not 
know any plant that has been discovered in the rocks of the earth containing 
a synthetic structure including the characters of several groups of plants, now 
differentiated ; and I am sure that this is not the case with the cycads, which, 
while they have .an anomalous appearance in relation to their allies, are a 
distinctly-separate type of gymnosperms, with no affinity to the ferns on 
the one hand, or to the palms on the other. They began life as a group in the 
secondary strata, and fossils which have been referred by early observers to 
tnis group of plants have been shown to be not stems of cycads but of 
vascular cryptogams. They appeared to form a large portion of the flora of 
the secondary period, and there were some types which have disappeared 
entirely and are not found at the present day. I would only, before sitting 
down, express my gratification at the clear way in which Mr. James has put 
the question before this Institute, and my conviction that all the data we 
have in connexion with fossil botany appear to me clearly to disprove, and 
certainly in no way whatever to support, the hypothesis of evolution by 
genetic descent. (Applause.) 


Mr. C. HASTINGS DENT, F.L.S. I think that papers like the present are 
especially valuable as bringing forward some of the weak points of the theory 
of evolution. Although I have not done more than look into fossil botany, 
it is very closely allied with zoological studies, which have always had great 
interest for me. There is one point to which I should like to refer, namely, 
the sudden appearance of groups of families in the geological strata, which 
appear to form a powerful argument against the doctrine of evolution. It is, 
I think, particularly noteworthy when we find the representatives of the same 
genera existing in a similar condition at the present day. Professor 
Williamson, stated in Nature in the winter of 1881-2, that he 
thought it doubtful whether it was possible to make clear the process by 
which the evolution of phanerogams from cryptogams has been accomp ished. 
Darwin, perhaps, would give two general types one for phanerogams and 
one for cryptogams. Here we have two types separated by a vast amount of 
time two separate creations ; and it may be asked, if there are two, why 
not a hundred ? I would say a word as to the persistence of type, and 
another with regard to the persistence of species. In reference to the per- 
sistence of type, there is the small equisetum (E. sylvaticum) occurring con- 
tiguous to or in the soil overlying the coal measures, and is found only in 
such localities, flowering in June and July. It is plentiful in the neighbour- 
hood of Manchester, where it maybe found growing in the cloughs and valleys 
of the coal district. Then, as to the persistence of species, there is the Salix 
herbacea, which I first found on the summit of Snowdon, and afterwards, on 
a visit to the Lake District, upon the tops of Mount Skiddaw and Scawfell 
Pike, though I failed to find it on Helvellyn. All these mountains are 
something over three thousand feet in height. It occurs to me that this 
plant is a survival from the glacial epoch, and that, as the]temperature of the 
British Isles has increased, this little willow, which is the smallest known 
species, and only attains a height of two or three inches, gradually found its 
way from the increasingly warm low ground until it is now isolated on the 
tops of the highest peaks. A reference is made on pages 11 and 12 of the 
paper to the Falkland Islands, which is specially interesting, as it is very 
likely a similar case to that which I have noticed with regard to the Salix 
herbacea, the ranunculus form being found in the Falklands, whereas in the 
Brazils no species of that genus have been discovered ; and I may mention 
that, owing to the enormous preponderance of water in the southern hemi- 
sphere, in the temperature of the latitudes there, 40 degrees south, represent 
50 degrees north. There is one question I should like to ask Mr. James ; and 
that is, what is his opinion as to the dispersion of plants, which he has not dealt 
with in this paper ? I know it is a very difficult subject to enter upon, but it is 
one which might have given rise to some interesting remarks by way of debate ; 
whereas I venture to think that no one in this room, even if it had been five 
times as full as it is now, could find a single subject of debate in this paper. 
I should like to know his opinion on this matter, especially as we are not 
required to hold so dogmatic a belief on the question of dispersion from a 


single centre in regard to plant life as is the case in reference to the disper- 
sion of the human race. Darwin says that the same forms could not be pro- 
ducedor very probably -would not be by evolution from two different 
plants ; consequently I should like to know how would Mr. James presume 
the ranunculus appeared both in the Falkland and in the British Islands ? 
In conclusion, I hope I may be allowed to add a few words to the quotation 
given by Mr. James from the book written by Dr. Heer, of Zurich : "Let 
us still erect statues to men who have been useful to their fellow-creatures 
and have distinguished themselves by their genius, but let us not forget what 
we owe to Him who has placed marvels in each grain of sand, a world in 
every drop of water." 

Mr. S. K. PATTISON, F.G.S. I am very glad that no occasion is offered 
for anything in the shape of criticism on this paper, the only ground for 
which would have been some omission of fact, or some slip in the reasoning 
of the author. I do not think that anything of this kind can be charged 
against the admirable essay to which we have listened, and I am pleased to 
find that the testimony of our great leader on this subject, Mr. Carruthers, 
confirms my own impression, as he has nothing to express but admira- 
tion. It seems to me that Mr. James has not only abolished the argument 
deduced from the synthetic form of plants, as it now stands, but that that 
argument is doubly abolished if, as* Mr. Carruthers has said, there is no 
synthetic form at all ; because, in that case, the very basis of the argu- 
ment is removed. With regard to the permanence of genera, Mr. James 
has fought that point on every stage of the geological record, and has taken 
his stand on every platform on which vegetable life is found, the result being 
that he has shown, in the case of the plants to which he has referred, that 
they display an entire constancy and permanence from the earliest forms ; 
and that this is not only true of genera, but, to a very great extent, of 
species also. This seems to me to be absolutely fatal to the dogma Mr. 
James has combated. Again, the burst of new life in the upper chalk also 
seems to me to be fatal to the evolution theory. I hold also that the doc- 
trine of the imperfection of the geological record would not be maintained 
by any one who has at all familiarised himself with the evidences afforded 
by the coal measures and the shale which is found in contiguity with the coal, 
for no one can examine one of our numerous coal-pits without being con- 
vinced that it affords the fullest possible development of the flora of that 
particular epoch ; and not only is this the case with regard to one coal 
working, but all round the world the same phenomena present themselves in 
a manner that must be accepted as quite conclusive. I need not dwell 
further upon the subject, and have only to add that I am very glad indeed 
to have had the advantage of hearing Mr. James read so able and interesting 
a paper. (Applause.) 

Rev. F. A. WALKER, D.D., F.L.S. With regard to the question of the 
permanence or persistence of types, I may state that there is a very interest- 
ing case exhibited in the Boulak Museum which probably some of those 


now present may have seen, showing the permanence of types in plants, 
not in the shape of fossil remains, but in those of which we have the earliest 
historical knowledge. We are there enabled to see the crocus and the lotus, 
one or two species of moss, and two or three more plants that have been 
taken out of mummy-cases, and which date back three and probably four 
thousand years, side by side with specimens of the very same flowers recentlv 
gathered and dried in Cairo, the species and varieties of the crocus and lily 
being the same as are found at the present day the crocus, as far as I can 
see, being identical with that which is found in the Campagna, and generally 
in the outskirts of Rome. I suppose the permanence of this type is to be 
attributed to the fact that it has always been a non- cultivated species. I 
may add, that growers in the neighbourhood of Cairo have tried to produce 
different species ; but the more I go about the more am I struck with the 
great similarity shown by the fossil remains found in England and the 
plants growing in Egypt at the present day. The impressions of the leaves, 
and the leaves themselves, of the palms and magnolias that are dug up close 
to Bournemouth are just the same in appearance as those in Egypt now, and 
serve as evidence of a tropical climate at one time in our own land. 

Mr. J. HASSELL thanked Mr. James for his interesting and instructive 
paper. For his own part, he (Mr. Hassell) did not know much about fossil 
botany, but he had taught children a little about the botany of the present 
day, and be had been greatly struck with the remark made by a girl a 
short time ago. He had placed on the table the fossil impression of a fern 
from the coal measures. They had been talking about the nervation of 
plants, and he had been examining different specimens in order to show 
that the nervation of the dicotyledons was different to that of the mono- 
cotyledons, and that of the acotyledons different from either of the others. 
The girl said, " That cannot be a very old thing, sir, for it is exactly like 
this leaf," at the same time showing a leaf she had in her hand, the leaf of 
a recent fern. This is a very remarkable thing, and the more we knew of 
the structure of plants the better were we able to see that no possible 
means within themselves could have produced the differences that were 
observable, and, consequently, the more confidently could we take up a posi- 
tion against the fascinating doctrine of evolution. He thought it very 
desirable that the marked distinctions of species, which Mr. James had 
shown were presented even from the very earliest ages, should be brought 
prominently before the young, by their teachers. Those who believed in 
evolution took advantage of every occasion which presented itself to in- 
oculate the rising generation with their views. Why, then, should not the 
believers in special creation do the same ? 

Mr. W. P. JAMES, F.L.S. I was much pleased to hear Dr. Carruthers 
say he does not believe in synthetic types of plants, and, if be were 
still present, I would explain to him that the last paragraph of my 
paper, headed, " Do Synthetic Types prove Evolution 1 " is written from an 
entirely neutral point of view. I do not say that I believe in synthetic 


types myself ; I merely put it hypothetically, and I am very glad to find 
that Mr. Carruthers believes the cycads are not a synthetic type. I have 
never seen them except in greenhouses, and have only taken what I have 
said of them from books ; but I think I may say that, if there were a 
synthetic type, one would imagine them to constitute such a type, 
intermediate between ferns, palms, and conifers. I think that many 
excellent geologists have been a little too rash in speaking of types 
as synthetic, especially some of those who are on our side for instance, 
Sir J. W. Dawson has spoken more than once of plants as being synthetic 
types, where the evidence does not seem sufficient to justify the term. 
In reply to Mr. Dent, who asked me how the plants I have spoken of 
got into the South Pacific Sea, I have nothing to add to what I have 
already stated. That is a subject that does not belong to the ques- 
tion dealt with to-night ; but it is, nevertheless, one of great interest. 
The reason I mentioned the Auckland Islands is that they are as far 
from Great Britain as they well could be. It is one of the great puzzles in 
botany to account for the antarctic species. Sir Joseph Hooker said 
when he first explored those islands, and before he joined the evolutionists, 
that the remoteness of those parts of the world and their isolation from 
the nearest land precluded the idea of species having migrated there ; 
but since then, as he has become more or less of an evolutionist, I 
suppose he imagines a submerged continent along which the migration 
may have taken place. The question is, as I have said, a very puzzling 
one, for instance, how the little butterwort, which is a cold-climate plant, got 
across the tropics. Those who advocate a slowand gradual migration suppose 
that these plants went over the tops of the Andes ; but the difficulty still 
remains how did they get to the islands in the Antarctic Sea ? The subject 
is a most interesting one, and those who are not botanists would find, in 
the great libraries to which they may belong, or to which they have access, 
the Flora Antarctica well worthy of attention, as showing surprising 
constancy of genera, and as containing plates, coloured by Mr. Fitch, 
which are of astonishing beauty. I do not assert that all genera are constant ; 
some, of course, are variable ; but. nevertheless, we have to account for the 
fact that others are so amazingly persistent ; and it should be remembered 
that, when we say a genus or species is constant, this involves a vast num- 
ber of uniformities thousands, in fact down to the most minute points. 
(Hear, hear.) There is a plant called Bidens tripartita, found in the 
watercourses in the neighbourhood of London. If you take a specimen 
and strip off some of the florets that make up the composite flower, the 
smell of the receptacle at the top of the flower stalk will remind you 
at once of that of the dahlia, and here we have a very subtle bond of 
union indicated. Who would expect that this little English composite would 
show any affinity with a flower so different in appearance, and coming from 
America? Mr. Hassell made a most interesting remark about a fern. He 
gave an instance in which a child had recognised at once the likeness 


between the fossil and the existing ferns, and I can testify to the accuracy 
of the child's statement. The portion of the coal measures with which I 
used to have acquaintance was in South Wales, and I hare only spoken of 
what I have myself seen. I never made a collection of the fossil ferns, 
but they were very familiar to me as a boy, and I remember that there was 
a district in which the shale was very brittle, and we used in walking 
about to break a great many pieces, and expose the beautiful impressions, 
which, however, were too fragile to bear handling, and so were lost With 
regard to the theory of descent, I would only say that what I contend 
against is the doctrine advocated by Haeckel, that we must assume that all 
animals and plants have been lineally derived from their lowest forms. 
Haeckel and others have attempted to draw up a genealogical scheme for the 
vegetable as well as for the animal kingdom, beginning in the former with 
the lowest algae, or oscillatoriaceae, now found in the hot springs. Of course, 
when we see what tremendous gaps there are in this genealogical system, 
we are satisfied at once as to the impossibility of making it complete, and 
all wiser botanists have given up the attempt. In a modified form, perhaps, 
many have held Evolution to be just possible. We might, perhaps, imagine 
the creation of a form from which, as a generic type, species may have been 
produced by modification ; but, after all, it is but a guess, and there can be 
no doubt that there are forcible arguments, especially those derived from the 
coal formation, against any theory of descent. The evolutionists know very 
well that this is about the strongest point against their doctrine that can be 
adduced, and it does not require much ability to put it clearly. (Applause.) 
The meeting was then adjourned. 







Baden Professor of Sanscrit in the University of Oxford. 

June 1th, 1888. 


President of the Royal Society, in the Chair. 






The President, Professor G. G. STOKES, M.A., D.C.L., President 
of the Royal Society, IN THE CHAIR. 

The Report having been read by the Honorary Secretary, Captain 
Francis Petrie, F.G.S., &c., 

Sir J. RISDON BENNETT, F.R.S., moved the adoption of the 
Report, and referred to the important volume of Transactions just 
issued as sufficient evidence of the sound principles on which the 
Institute was conducted. 

Professor H. W. BRISTOW, F.R.S., Senior Director of the Geolo- 
gical Survey of Great Britain, seconded the adoption of the Report, 
and complimented the Council on the excellent way in which their 
work had been done. 

Mr. DAVID HOWARD, F.C.S., &c., returned thanks on behalf of 
the Council " whose anxious task had been so kindly recognised." 

Sir MONIER MONIER- WILLIAMS, K.C.I.E., then delivered 

The BISHOP OF DUNEDIN moved a vote of thanks to Sir MONIER 
MONIER- WILLIAMS and all those who had contributed the Papers, 
and to the discussion thereof during the session, and pointed out 
the value of the Address. 

Mr. W. S. SETON KARR, D.C.L. late Puisne Judge of the 
High Court at Calcutta cordially seconded the resolution. 

Sir HENRY BARKLY, K.C.B., G.C.M.G., F.R.S., moved a vote of 
thanks to the President, which was seconded by the Rev. RODINSON 

The Meeting then adjourned to the museum, where refreshments 
were served. 

*** The large meeting occupied the hall, vestibule, and a room off tke hall. 
A 2 




That during the past year Her Majesty had very graciously accepted 
an Address from the Institute, accompanied by its latest 

That increasing interest in its Objects was evinced both at home 
and abroad. 

That the steady support of the Institute's Members continued, and 
had been of the utmost value in giving solidity to the Institute, 
in strengthening its working, and in causing many who might 
otherwise not have joined or aided in its work to do so, 
and the value of the transactions had been much enhanced 
thereby, The Report called special attention to the importance 
of these points, as the future of the Institute so much depended 
upon its ability to make use of present opportunities. 

That the system under which papers were read, and the discussions 
and comments thereon published, now enabled Members in the 
most distant parts of the world to contribute papers, and to 
take part in the discussions. 

That the Institute's American offshoot was progressing satisfactorily, 
and that, although an independent society, its existence had 
not lessened the amount of American support to the Institute. 

That the increase of the Institute's Library of Reference, which had 
been got together by the help of many Members and Asso- 
ciates, was most important. The acquisition of a complete 
collection of the standard works of the day bearing upon the 
many subjects that came within the scope of the Institute 
would be of the greatest advantage, as such works are constantly 
inquired for both by town and country Members. 

That the Members had elected, subject to their acceptance of the 
office, the Lord Chancellor as Vice-President, and Professor 
BRISTOW, F.R.S., Captain CREAK, R.N., F.R.S., Sir J. 
LEFROT, K.C.B., F.R.S., Mr. Cox BOMPAS, F.G.S., Mr. G. A. 
SPOTTISWOODE, and the Rev. F. A. Walker, D.D., F.L.S., to 
the Council. 
It reported that the accounts of the Institute had been 

audited as usual by two specially qualified Members not on the 

Ph.D., Boden Professor of Sanskrit in the University of 

THE first idea implied by Buddhism is intellectual enlighten- 
ment. But Buddhism has its own theory of enlighten- 
ment its own idea of true knowledge, which it calls Bodhi, 
not Veda. By true knowledge it means knowledge acquired 
by man through his own intellectual faculties and through his 
own inner consciousness, instincts, and intuitions, unaided by 
any external or supernatural revelation of any kind. 

But it is important to observe that Buddhism, in the carry- 
ing out of its own theory of entire self-dependence in the 
search after truth, was compelled to be somewhat inconsistent 
with itself. It enjoined self -con quest, self-restraint, self- 
concentration and separation from the world for the attainment 
of perfect knowledge and for the accomplishment of its own 
summum bonum the bliss of Nirvana the bliss of doliver- 

* In this paper some of the diacritical marks, required for the accurate 
representation of Oriental words in the Roman character, have been omitted. 


ance from the fires of passion and the flames of concupiscence. 
Yet it encouraged association and combination for mutual 
help. It established a universal brotherhood of celibate 
monks, open to persons of all castes and ranks, to rich and 
poor, learned and unlearned alike a community of men which 
might, in theory, be co-extensive with the whole world all 
bound together by the common aim of self- con quest, all 
animated by the wish to aid each other in the battle with 
carnal desires, all penetrated by a desire to follow the example 
of the Buddha, and be guided by the doctrine or law which he 

Ccenobitic monasticism in fact became an essential part of 
true Buddhism and a necessary instrument for its propagation. 

In all this the Buddha showed himself to be eminently 
practical in his methods and profoundly wise in his generation. 
Evidently, too, he was wise in abstaining at first from all 
mystical teaching. Originally Buddhism set its face against 
all solitary asceticism and secret efforts to attain sublime 
heights of knowledge. It had no occult, no esoteric system 
of doctrine which it withheld from ordinary men. 

Nor did true Buddhism at first concern itself with any form 
of philosophical or metaphysical teaching, which it did not 
consider helpful for the attainment of the only kind of true 
knowledge worth striving for the knowledge of the origin 
of suffering and its remedy the knowledge that suffering 
and pain arise from indulging lusts, and that life is in- 
separable from suffering, and is an evil to be got rid of by 
suppressing self and extinguishing desires. 

In the Mahd-parinibbdna-sutta (Rhys Davids, 11-32) is re- 
corded one of the Buddha's remarks shortly before his decease. 

" What, Ananda, does the Order desire of me ? I have 
taught the law (desito dhammo) without making any distinc- 
tion between esoteric and exoteric doctrine (anantaram aba- 
hiram karitva). In the matter of the law, the Tathagata 
(i.e., the Buddha) has never had the closed fist of a teacher 
(acariya-mutthi) that is, of a teacher who withholds some 
doctrines and communicates others." 

Nevertheless, admitting, as we must, that early Buddhism 
had no mysteries reserved for a privileged circle, we must not 
shut our eyes to the fact that the great importance attached 
to abstract meditation in the Buddhist system could not fail 
in the end to encourage the growth of mystical ideas. 

Furthermore, it is undeniable that such ideas were, in some 
countries, carried to the most extravagant extremes. Efforts 
to induce a trance-like or hypnotic condition, by abstracting 
the thoughts from all bodily influences, by recitation of mysti- 


cal sentences and by superstitious devices for the acquisition 
of supernatural faculties, were placed above good works and 
all the duties of the moral code. 

We might point, too, to the strange doctrine which arose in 
Nepal and Tibet the doctrine of the Dhyani- Buddhas (or 
Buddhas of Meditation) certain abstract essences existing in 
the formless worlds of thought, who were held to be ethereal 
and eternal representatives of the transitory earthly Buddhas. 

Our present concern, however, is rather with the growth 
and development of mystical Buddhism in India itself, through 
its connexion with the system called Yoga and Yogacara. 

The close relationship of Buddhism to that system is well 
known. The various practices included under the name 
Yoga did not owe their origin to Buddhism. They were 
prevalent in India before Gautama Buddha's time; and one 
of the most generally accepted facts in his biography is that, 
after abandoning his home and worldly associations, he resorted 
to certain Brahman ascetics who were practising Yoga. 

What then was the object which these ascetics had in view ? 

The word Yoga literally means " union " (as derived from 
the Sanskrit root <c yuj," to join), and the proper aim of every 
man who practised Yoga was the mystic union (or rather 
re-union) of his own spirit with the one eternal Soul or 
Spirit of the Universe, and the acquisition of divine know- 
ledge through that union. 

It may be taken for granted that this was the Buddha's 
first aim when he addressed himself to Yoga in the fifth 
century B.C., and even to this hour, earnest men in India 
resort to this system with the same object. 

In the Indian Magazine for July, 1887 (as well as in my 
Brdhmanism and Hinduism*) is a short biography of a 
quite recent religious reformer named Svami Payananda 
Sarasvati, whose acquaintance I made at Bombay in 1876 
and 1877, and who only died in 1883. The story of his life 
reads almost like a repetition of the life of Buddha, though 
his teaching aimed at restoring the supposed monotheistic 
doctrine of the Veda. 

It is recorded that his father, desiring to initiate him into 
the mysteries of Saivism, took him to a shrine dedicated to 
the god Siva; but the sight of some mice stealing the con- 
secrated offerings and of some rats playing on the heads of the 
idol led him to disbelieve in Siva-worship as a means of union 
with the Supreme Being. Longing, however, for such union 

* Published by John Murray, Albemarle Street (see p. 529). 


and for emancipation from the burden of repeated births, 
he resolved to renounce marriage and abandon the world. 
Accordingly, at the age of twenty-two, he clandestinely 
quitted his home, the darkness of evening covering his flight. 
Taking a secret path, he travelled thirty miles during the night. 
Next day he was pursued by his father, who tried to force 
him to return, but in vain. After travelling farther and 
farther from his native province, he took a vow to devote 
himself to the investigation of truth. Then he wandered for 
many years all over India, trying to gain knowledge from sages 
and philosophers, but without any satisfactory result, till 
finally he settled at Ahmedabad. There, having mastered 
the higher Yoga system, he became the leader of a new sect 
called the Arya-Samaj. 

And here we may observe that the expression " higher 
Yoga " implies that another form of that system was intro- 
duced. In point of fact, the Yoga system grew, and became 
twofold that is, it came in the end to have two objects. 

The earlier was the higher Yoga. It aimed only at union 
with the Spirit of the Universe. The more developed system 
aimed at something more. It sought to acquire miraculous 
powers by bringing the body under control of the will, and 
by completely abstracting the soul from body and mind, and 
isolating it in its own essence. This condition is called Kaivalya. 

In the fifth century B.C., when Gautama Buddha began his 
career, the later and lower form of Yoga seems to have been 
little known. Practically, in those days earnest and devout 
men craved only for union with the Supreme Being, and 
absorption into his essence. Many methods of effecting such 
union and absorption were contrived. And these may be 
classed under two chief heads bodily mortification (tapas) 
and abstract meditation (dhyana). 

By either one of these two chief means, the devotee was 
supposed to be able to get rid of all bodily fetters to be able 
to bring his bodily organs into such subjection to the spiritual 
that he became unconscious of possessing any body at all. It 
was in this way that his spirit became fit for blending with the 
Supreme Spirit. 

We learn from the Lalita-vistara that various forms of 
bodily torture, self-maceration, and austerity were common in 
Gautama's time. 

Some devotees, we read, seated themselves in one spot and 
kept perpetual silence, with their legs bent under them . Some 
ate only once a day or once on alternate days, or at intervals 
of four, six, or fourteen days. Some slept in wet clothes or 
on ashes, gravel, stones, boards, thorny grass, or spikes, or 


with the face downwards. Some went naked, making no 
distinction between fit or unfit places. Some smeared them- 
selves with ashes, cinders, dust, or clay. Some inhaled smoke 
and fire. Some gazed at the sun, or sat surrounded by five 
fires, or rested on one foot, or kept one arm perpetually up- 
lifted, or moved about on their knees instead of on their feet, 
or baked themselves on hot stones, or entered water, or 
suspended themselves in the air. 

Then, again, a method of fasting called very painful (ati 
kricchra), described by Manu (xi. 213), was often practised. 
It consisted in eating only a single mouthful every day for 
nine days and then abstaining from all food for the three 
following days. 

Another method, called the lunar fast (vi. 20, xi. 216), con- 
sisted in beginning with fifteen mouthfuls at full moon, and 
reducing the quantity by one mouthful till new moon, and 
then increasing it again in the same way till full moon. 

Passages without number might be quoted from ancient 
literature to prove that similar practices were resorted to 
throughout India with the object of bringing the body into 
subjection to the spirit. And these practices have continued 
up to the present day. 

A Muhammadan traveller, whose narrative is quoted by 
Mr. Mill (British India, i. 355), once saw a man standing 
motionless with his face towards the sun. 

The same traveller, having occasion to revisit the same spot 
sixteen years afterwards, found the very same man in the very 
same attitude. He had gazed on the sun's disk till all sense 
of external vision was extinguished. 

A Yogi was seen not very long ago (Mill's India, i. 353) 
seated between four fires on a quadrangular stage. He stood 
on one leg gazing at the sun, while these fires were lighted at 
the four corners. Then placing himself upright on his head, 
with his feet elevated in the air, he remained for three hours 
in that position. He then seated himself cross-legged, and 
continued bearing the raging heat of the sun above his head 
and the fires which surrounded him till the end of the day, 
occasionally adding combustibles with his own hands to 
increase the flames. 

I, myself, in the course of my travels, encountered Yogis 
who had kept their arms uplifted for years, or had wandered 
about from one place of pilgrimage to another under a per- 
petual vow of silence, or had no place to lie upon but a bed of 

As to fasting, the idea that attenuation of the body by 
abstinence frora food, facilitates union of the human soul with 


the divine, or at any rate promotes a keener insight into 
spiritual things, is doubtless as common in Europe as in Asia ; 
but the most austere observer of Lent in European countries 
would be hopelessly outdone by devotees whose extraordinary 
powers of abstinence may be witnessed in every part of India. 

If we now turn to the second great method of attaining 
mystic union with the Divine Essence, namely, by profound 
abstract thought, we may observe that it, too, was everywhere 
prevalent in Buddha's time. 

Indeed, one of the names given by Indian philosophers to 
the One Universal Spirit is Cit, " Thought." By that name 
of course, is meant pure abstract thought, or the faculty 
of thought separated from every concrete object. Hence, 
in its highest state the eternal infinite Spirit, by its very 
nature, thinks of nothing. It is the simple thought faculty, 
wholly unconnected with any object, about which it thinks. 
In point of fact, the moment it begins to exercise this 
faculty, it necessai'ily abandons for a time its condition of 
absolute oneness, abstraction and isolation, to associate itself 
with something inferior, which is not itself. 

It follows, therefore, that intense concentration of the mind 
on the One Universal Spirit amounts to fixing the thought on 
a mere abstract Essence, which reciprocates no thought in 
return, and is not conscious of being thought about by its 

In harmony with this theory, we find that the definition of 
Yoga, in the second aphorism of the Yoga-sutra, is, " the 
suppression (nirodha) of the functions or modifications (vritti) 
of the thinking principle (citta)." So that, in reality, the 
union of the human mind with the infinite Principle of 
thought amounts to such complete mental absorption, that 
thought itself becomes lost in pure thought. 

In the Sahuntald (vii. 1 75) there is a description of an ascetic 
engaged in this form of Yoga, whose condition of fixed medi- 
tation and immovable impassiveness had lasted so long that 
ants had thrown up a mound as high as his waist, and birds 
had built their nests in the long clotted tresses of his tangled 

Not very dissimilar phenomena may be witnessed even in 
the present day. I, myself, not many years ago, saw at 
Allahabad a devotee who had maintained a sitting, contem- 
plative posture with his feet folded under his body, in one 
place near the fort for twenty years. 

During the Mutiny cannon thundered over his head, and 
bullets hissed all around him, but nothing apparently dis- 
turbed his attitude of profound meditation. 


It is clear, then, from all we have stated, that, supposing 
Gautama to have made up his mind to renounce the world 
and devote himself to a religious life, his adoption of a course 
of Yoga was a most ordinary proceeding. 

In the first instance, as we have seen, he tested the value 
of painful self-mortification by a long sexennial fast. Then, 
after discovering the uselessness of mere bodily austerities, 
he took food naturally, and adopting the second method, 
applied himself to profound abstract meditation. 

A large number of the images of Buddha represent him 
sitting on a raised seat, with his legs folded under his body, 
and his eyes half -closed, in this condition of abstraction 
(samadhi) sometimes called Yoga-nidra ; that is, a trance-like 
state, compared to profound sleep, or a kind of hypnotism. 

According to the account given in the Mahd-vagga (i. 1), 
he seated himself in this way under four trees in succession, 
remaining absorbed in thought for seven days and nights 
under each tree, till he was, so to speak, re-born as Buddha 
" the Enlightened." Till then he had no right to that title. 

And those four successive seats probably symbolised the 
four recognised stages of meditation* (dhyana) rising one above 
another, till thought itself was converted into non-thought. 

We know, too, that the Buddha went through still higher 
progressive stages of meditation at the moment of his death 
or final decease (Pari-nirvana), thus described in the Mahd- 
parinibbdna sutta (vi. 11) : 

" Then the Venerable One entered into the first stage of 
meditation (pathamajjhanam) ; and rising out of the first 
stage, he passed into the second; and rising out of the 
second, he passed into the third ; and rising out of the third, 
he passed into the fourth ; and rising out of the fourth stage, 
he attained the conception of the infinity of space (akasanan- 
cayatanam) ; and rising out of the conception of the infinity 
of space, he attained the conception of the infinity of intelli- 
gence (or second Arupa-brahma-loka). And rising out of 
the idea of the infinity of intelligence, he attained the 
conception of absolute nonentity (akincannayatanara) ; and 
rising out of the idea of nonentity, he entered the region 
where there is neither consciousness nor unconsciousness ; 
and rising out of that region, he entered the state in which 
all sensation and all perception of ideas had wholly ceased." 

This strange passage shows that even four progressive 

* I give this as a theory of my own. M. Senarfc considers that the sun's 
progress is symbolised. I am no believer in the sun theory as applicable to 
this point. 


stages of abstraction did not satisfy the requirements of later 
Buddhism in regard to the intense sublimation of the thinking 
faculty needed for the complete effacement of all sense of 
individuality. Higher and higher altitudes had to be reached, 
insomuch that the fourth stage of abstract meditation is 
sometimes divided and sub-divided into what are called eight 
vimokhas and eight samapattis all of them forms and stages 
of ecstatic meditation.* 

A general name, however, for all the higher trance-like 
states is Samddhi, and by the practice of Samadhi the six 
transcendent faculties (Abhiuna) might ultimately be obtained, 
viz., the inner ear, or power of hearing words and sounds 
however distant (clair-audience, as it might be called), the 
inner eye or power of seeing all that happens in every part of 
the world (clair-voyance), knowledge of the thoughts of others, 
recollection of former existences, the knowledge of the mode 
of destroying the corrupting influences of passion, and, 
finally, the supernatural powers called Iddhi, to be subse- 
quently explained. 

But to return to the Buddha's first course of meditation at 
the time when he first attained Buddhahood. This happened 
during one particular night, which was followed by the birth- 
day of Buddhism. 

And what was the first grand outcome of that first profound 
mental abstraction ? One legend relates that in the first 
watch of the night all his previous existences flashed across 
his mind; in the second he understood all present states of 
being; in the third he traced out the chain of causes and 
effects, and at the dawn of day he knew all things. 

According to another legend, there was an actual outburst 
of the divine light before hidden within him. 

We read in the Lalita-vistara (chap, i.) that at the supreme 
moment of his intellectual illumination brilliant flames of 
light issued from the crown of his head, through the inter- 
stices of his cropped hair. These rays are sometimes repre- 
sented in his images, emerging from his skull in a form 
resembling the five fingers of an extended hand. 

Mark, however, that it is never stated that Gautama ever 
attained to the highest result of the true Yoga of Indian 
philosophy union with the Supreme Spirit. On the con- 
trary, his self-enlightenment led to entire disbelief in the 
separate existence of any eternal, infinite Spirit at all any 
Spirit, in fact, with which a spirit existing in his own body 
could blend, or into which it could be absorbed. 

* These are described in Childers's Pali Dictionary, s.v. 


If the Buddha was not a materialist, in the sense of believing 
in the eternal existence of material atoms, neither could he 
in any sense be called a " spiritualist," or " spiritist." 

With him Creation did not proceed from an Omnipotent 
Spirit evolving phenomena out of itself by the exercise of 
almighty will, nor from an eternal self-existing, self-evolving 
germ of any kind. As to the existence of any spiritual 
substance in the Universe which was not matter and was 
imperceptible by the senses, it could not be proved. 

Nor did he believe in the eternal existence of an invisible, 
intangible, human self or Ego, commonly called Soul, as dis- 
tinct from a material body. In this he differed widely from 
the Yoga. The only eternity of early Buddhism was in an 
eternity of "becoming," not of "being," an eternity of 
universes, all succeeding each other, and all lapsing into 

In short, the Buddha's enlightenment consisted, first, in 
the discovery of the origin and remedy of suffering, and, next, 
in the knowledge of the existence of an eternal Force a 
force generated by what in Sanskrit is called Karman, " Act." 
Who, or what, started the first act the Buddha never pre- 
tended to be able to explain. He confessed himself in regard 
to this point a downright Agnostic. 

All he affirmed was that every man was created by the 
force of his own acts in former bodies, combined with a force 
generated by intense attachment to existence (upadana). 
The Buddha himself was so created, and had been created 
and re-created through countless bodily forms ; but he had 
no spirit or soul existing separately between the intervals of 
each creation. By his protracted meditation he attained to no 
higher knowledge than this, and although he himself rose to 
loftier heights of knowledge than any other man of his day, 
he never aspired to other than the extraordinary faculties 
which were within the reach of any human being capable of 
rising to the same sublime abstraction of mind. 

He was even careful to lay down a precept that the acquisi- 
tion of transcendent human faculties was restricted to the 
perfected saints called Arhats ; and so important did he con- 
sider it to guard such faculties from being claimed by mere 
impostors, that one of the four prohibitions communicated to 
all monks on first admission to his monastic Order was that 
they were not to pretend to such powers. 

Nor is there any proof that even Arhats in Gautama's time 
were allowed to claim the power of working physical miracles. 

By degrees, no doubt, powers of this kind were ascribed to 
them as well as to the Buddha. Even in the Yinaya, one of 


the oldest portions of the Tripitaka, we find it stated that 
Gautama Buddha gained adherents by performing three thou- 
sand five hundred supernatural wonders (in Pali patihariya) . 
These were thought to be evidences of his mission as a great 
teacher and saviour of mankind ; but the part of the narrative 
recording these, although very ancient, is probably a legendary 
addition of later date. It is interesting, however, to trace in 
other portions of the first literature, the development of the 
doctrine that Buddhahood meant first transcendent know- 
ledge, and then supernatural faculties, and finally miraculous 

In the Akkanheyya Sutta (said to be written in the fourth 
century B.C.) occurs this remarkable passage, translated by 
Professor Rhys Davids (p. 214) : 

"If a Monk should desire through the destruction of 
the corrupting influences (asavas), by himself, and even in 
this very world, to know and realise and attain to Arhatship, 
to emancipation of heart, and emancipation of mind, let him 
devote himself to that quietude of heart which springs from 
within, let him not drive back the ecstasy of contemplation, 
let him look through things, let him be much alone. 

" If a Monk should desire to hear with clear and heavenly 
ear, surpassing that of men, sounds both human and celestial, 
whether far or near ; if he should desire to comprehend by 
his own heart the hearts of other beings and of other men ; 
if he should desire to call to mind his various temporary 
states in the past, such as one, two, three, four, five, ten, 
twenty, a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand births, or 
his births in many an age and aeon of destruction and 
renovation, let him devote himself to that quietude which 
springs from within." 

Then, in the NaM-parinibldna-sutta (i. 33) occurs the 
following : 

' ' At that time the Blessed One as instantaneously as a 
strong man would stretch forth his arm, or draw it back again 
when he had stretched it forth vanished from this side of the 
river, and stood on the further bank with the company of the 

And, again, the following : 

" I call to mind, Ananda, how when I used to enter into an 
assembly of many hundred nobles, before I had seated myself 
there, or talked to them, or started a conversation with them, 
I used to become in colour like unto their colour, and in voice 
like unto their voice. Then, with religious discourse, I used 
to instruct, incite, and quicken them, and fill them with 
gladness. But they knew me not when I spoke, and would 


say, ( Who may this be who thus speaks ? a man or a god ? ' 
Then, having instructed, incited, quickened and gladdened 
them with religious discourse, I would vanish away. But they 
knew me not even when I vanished away ; and would say, 
' Who may this be who has thus vanished away ? a man, or 
a god ?' " (Mahd-parinibbdna-sutta, iii. 22.) 

Such passages in the early literature afford an interesting 
exemplification of the growth of supernatural and mystical 
ideas, and account for the ultimate association of the Northern 
Buddhistic system, with Saivism, demonology, magic, and 
various spiritual phenomena connected with what has been 
called "Esoteric Buddhism." 

These ideas, however, originated in India, and we may 
now proceed to trace their development in the later Yoga or 
"aphorisms of the Yoga philosophy," composed by Patanjali, 
to which I have already referred. 

In that work eight requisites of Yoga are enumerated 
(ii. 29) ; namely, 1, abstaining from five evil acts (yama) ; 2, 
performing five positive duties (niyama) ; 3, settling the 
limbs in certain postures (asana) ; 4, regulating and sup- 
pressing the breath (pranayama) ; 5, withdrawing the senses 
from their objects (pratyahara) ; 6, fixing the thinking faculty 
(dharana) ; 7, internal self-contemplation (dhyana) ; 8, trance- 
like self-concentration (samadhi). 

These eight are indispensable requisites for the gaining of 
Patanjalr's summum bonum the complete abstraction or 
isolation (kaivalya) of the soul in its own essence and for 
the acquirement of supernatural faculties. 

Taking now these eight requisites of Yoga in order, we may 
observe, with regard to the first, that the five evil acts to be 
avoided correspond to the five commandments in Buddhism, 
viz., "kill not," "steal not," "commit no impurity," 
"lie not." The fifth alone, "abstain from all worldly enjoy- 
ments," is different, the Buddhist fifth prohibition being 
"drink no strong drink." 

With regard to the second requisite, the five positive 
duties are self-purification, both external and internal (both 
called sauca) ; the practice of contentment (santosha) ; bodily 
mortification (tapas) muttering of prayers, or repetition 
of mystical syllables (svadhyaya, or japa), and contemplation 
of the Supreme Being. 

The various processes of bodily mortification and austerities 
have been already described. 

As to the muttering of prayers, the repetition of mystic 
syllables such as Oru (a symbol for the Triad of Gods), or 
of" any favourite deity's name, is held among Hindus to be 


highly efficacious.* In a similar manner among Northern 
Buddhists the six-syllabled sentence : " Om rnani padme 
hum "" Reverence to the jewel in the lotus. Amen" is 
used as a charm against the sixfold course of transmigration. 
The Jewel may mean Avalokitesvara, the patron saint of 
Tibet, fabled to have sprung from a lotus, or it may contain a 
double-entendre an occult allusion to the Sankhya Purusha 
and Prakriti, or to the Linga and Yoni of Saivism, as 
symbolising the generative force of Nature. No other prayer- 
formula in the world is repeated so often. 

Other mystical syllables (such as sam, yam, ram, lam) are 
supposed to contain some occult virtue. 

The third requisite posture would appear to us a some- 
what trivial aid to the union of the human spirit with the 
divine ; but with Hindus it is an important auxiliary, fraught 
with great benefit to the Yogi. 

The alleged reason is that certain sitting postures (asana) 
and cramping of the lower limbs are peculiarly efficacious 
in producing bodily quietude and preventing restlessness. 
Some of the postures have curious names, for example : 
Padmasana, "the lotus posture"; virasana, "the heroic 
posture " ; sinhasana, " the lion posture " ; kurmasaiia, 
"the tortoise posture"; kukkutasana, "the cock posture"; 
dhanur-asana, ' ' bow posture " ; mayurasana, " peacock pos- 
ture." In the first the right foot is placed on the left thigh, 
and the left on the right thigh. 

In short, the idea is that compression of the lower 
limbs, in such a way as to prevent the possibility of the 
slightest movement, is most important as a preparation for 
complete abstraction of soul. 

Then, as another aid, particular twistings (called mudra) of 
the upper limbs of the arms, hands, and fingers are enjoined. 

In Europe violent movements of the limbs are practised 
by devotees with the view of uniting the human spirit with 
the Divine. Those who have seen the whirling and " howl- 
ing " dervishes of Cairo can testify to this. The fainting fits 
which result from their violent exertions, inspirations, expi- 
rations, and utterances of the name of God are believed to 
be ecstatic states in which such union is effected. 

The fourth requisite regulation and suppression of the 
breath is perhaps the one of all the eight which it is most 
difficult for Europeans to understand or appreciate ; yet with 
Hindus it is all-important (being called Hatha-vidya). Nor 
are the ideas connected with it wholly unknown in Europe. 

* See iny Brahmanism and Hiiuliiitm (John Murray), p. 105. 


According to Swedenborg,* thought commences and 
corresponds with respiration : 

" When a man thinks quickly his breath vibrates with rapid 
alternations ; when the tempest of anger shakes his mind his 
breath is tumultuous ; when his soul is deep and tranquil, so 
is his respiration." And he adds: "It is strange that this 
correspondence between the states of the brain or mind and 
the lungs has not been admitted in science." 

The Hindu belief certainly is that deep inspirations of 
breath assist in concentrating and abstracting the thoughts 
and preventing external impressions. But, more than this, 
five sorts of air are supposed to permeate the human body 
and play an important part in its vitality. The Hatha-dipika 
says : " As long as the air remains in the body, so long life 
remains. Death is the exit of the breath. Hence the air 
should be retained in the body." 

In regulating the breath, the air must first be drawn up 
through one nostril (the other being closed with the finger), 
retained in the lungs, and then expelled through the other 
nostril. This exercise must be practised alternately with the 
right and left nostril. Next, the breath must be drawn 
forcibly up through both nostrils, and the air imprisoned for 
as long a time as possible in the lungs. Thence it must be 
forced by an effort of will towards the internal organs of the 
body, or made to mount to the centre of the brain. 

The Hindus, however, do not identify the breath with the 
soul. They believe that a crevice or suture called the 
Brahma-randhram at the top of the skull serves as an out- 
let for the escape of the soul at death. A Hindu Yogi's skull 
is sometimes split at death by striking it with a sacred shell. 
The idea is to facilitate the exit of the soul. It is said that 
in Tibet the hair is torn out of the top of the head, with the 
same object. 

In the case of a wicked man the soul is supposed to escape 
through one of the lower openings of the body. 

The imprisonment of the breath in the body by taking in 
more air than is necessary for respiration, is the most im- 
portant of the breath exercises. It is said that Hindu 
ascetics, by constant practice, are able by this means to 
sustain life under water, or to be buried alive for long 
periods of time. Such feats of endurance would be wholly 
impracticable in the case of Europeans. It seems, however, 
open to question, whether or not it may not be possible for 
human beings of particular constitutions to practise a kind of 

* Quoted in Colonel Olcott's Yoga Philosophy, p. 282. 
B 2 


hibernation like that of animals, by some method of suspend- 
ing temporarily the organic functions. A certain Colonel 
Townsend is said to have succeeded in doing so. 

A well-known instance of suspended animation occurred in 
the Punjab in 1837. A certain Yogi was there, by his own 
request, buried alive in a vault for forty days in the presence 
of Runjit Singh and Sir Claude Wade; his eyes, ears, and 
every orifice of his body having been first stopped with plugs 
of wax. Dr. McGregor, the then residency surgeon, also 
watched the case. Every precaution was taken to prevent 
deception. English officials saw the man buried, as well 
as exhumed, and a perpetual guard over the vault was kept 
night and day by order of Eunjit Singh himself. At the end 
of forty days the disinterment took place. The body was 
dried up like a stick, and the tongue, which had been turned 
back into the throat, had become like a piece of horn. Those 
who exhumed him followed his previously-given directions for 
the restoration of animation, and the Yogi told them he had 
only been conscious of a kind of ecstatic bliss in the society 
of other Yogis and saints, and was quite ready to be buried 
over again. 

What amount of fraud, if any, there may be in these 
feats it is impossible to say. The phenomena may possibly 
be accounted for by the fact that Indian Yogis have studied 
the habits of hibernating animals for ages. 

I may add that it is commonly believed throughout 
India that a man whose body is sublimated by intense ab- 
stract meditation never dies, in the sense of undergoing 
corruption and dissolution. When his supposed death occurs 
he is held to be in a state of trance, which may last for cen- 
turies, and his body is, therefore, not burnt, but buried 
generally in a sitting posture and his tomb is called a samadh. 
With regard to the fifth requisite the act of withdrawing 
the senses from their object, as, for example, the eye from 
visible forms this is well compared to the act of a tortoise 
withdrawing its limbs under its shell. 

The sixth requisite fixing the principle of thought com- 
prises the act of directing the thinking faculty (citta) towards 
various parts of the body, for example, towards the heart, 
or towards the crown of the head, or concentrating the will- 
force on the region between the two eyebrows, or even fixing 
the eyes intently on the tip of the nose. (Compare Bliagavad- 
gltd, vi. 13.) 

The seventh and eighth requisites viz., internal self-con- 
templation and intense self-concentration are held (when 
conjoined with the sixth) to be most important as leading to 


the acquisition of certain supernatural powers, of which the 
following are most commonly enumerated : (1) Animan, <( the 
faculty of reducing the body to the size of an atom " ; (2) 
Mahiman, or Gariman, lc increasing the size or weight at will "; 
(3) Laghiman, " making the body light at will " ; (4) Prapti, 
" reaching or touching any object or spot, however apparently 
distant"; (5) Prakamya, "unlimited exercise of will " ; (6) 
Isitva, " gaining absolute power over one's self and others " ; 
(7) Vasita, " bringing the elements into subjection"; (8) 
Kamavasayita, " the power of suppressing all desires." 

A Yogi who has acquired these powers can rise aloft to the 
skies, fly through space, pierce the mysteries of planets and 
stars, cause storms and earthquakes, understand the language 
of animals, ascertain what occurs in any part of the world, 
or of the universe, recollect the events of his own previous 
lives, prolong his present life, see into the past and future, 
discern the thoughts of others, assume any form he likes, 
disappear, reappear, and even enter into another man's body 
and make it his own. 

Such were some of the extravagant ideas which grew with 
the growth of the Yoga system, and all these exist in the 
later developments of Buddhism. The Buddha himself is 
fabled by his followers to have ascended to the Trayas-trinsa 
heaven of Indra, walked on water, stepped from one mountain 
to another, and left impressions of his feet on the solid reck ; 
although in the well-known Dhamma-pada it is twice de- 
clared (254, 255), " There is no path through the air." 

Of course it was only natural that, with the development of 
Buddhism and its association with Saivism, the Buddha him- 
self should have become a centre for the growth and accumula- 
tion of supernatural and mystical ideas. It is in this way 
that the later doctrine makes every Buddha have a threefold 
existence or possess three bodies, much in the same way as 
in Hinduism three bodies are assigned to every being. 

The first of the Buddha's bodies is the Dharma-kaya 
"body of the Law," supposed to be a kind of ethereal 
essence of a highly sublimated nature and co-extensive with 
space. This essence was believed to be eternal, and after 
the Buddha's death, was represented by the Law or Doctrine 
(Dharma) he taught. Its Brahmanical analogue is probably 
Brahman, ( ' the Universal Spirit," which, when associated 
with Illusion (or the Karana-sarira), may assume a highly 
ethereal subtle body, called Linga-sarira. 

The second body is the Sambhoga-kaya, "body of con- 
scious bliss," which is of a less ethereal and more material 
nature than the last. Its Brahmanical analogue appears to be 


the intermediate celestial body belonging to departed spirits, 
called Bhoga-deha, which is of an ethereal character, though 
it is composed of sufficiently gross (sthula) material particles 
to be capable of experiencing happiness in heaven. 

The third body is the Nirmana-kaya, " body of visible shapes 
and transformations/' that is to say, those visible concrete 
material forms in which every Buddha who exists as an in- 
visible and eternal essence, is manifested on the earth or 
elsewhere for the propagation of the true doctrine. The 
Brahmanical analogue of this third body appears to be the 
earthly gross body, called Sthula-sarira. 

There is a well-known legend which relates how the great 
Brahman sage Sankaracarya entranced his gross body, and 
then, having forced out his soul along with his subtle body, 
entered the dead body of a recently deceased King, which he 
occupied for several weeks. 

In connexion with these mystical ideas, I may here allude 
to the belief that certain modern Eastern sages, skilled in 
occult science, have the power of throwing their gross bodies 
into a state of mesmeric trance, and then by a determined 
effort of will projecting or forcing out the ethereal body 
through the pores of the skin, and making this phantasmal 
form visible in distant places.* 

We learn from Mr. Sinnett that a community of Buddhist 
" Brothers " called Mahatmas, are now living in secluded 
spots in the deserts of Tibet, who have emancipated their 
interior selves from physical bondage by meditation, and are 
believed to possess " astral " or ethereal bodies (distinct from 
their gross bodies), with which they are able to rise in the 
air, or move through space, by the mere exercise of will. 

I am not aware whether the Psychical Research Society has 
extended its researches to the deserts of Tibet, where these 
phenomena are said to take place. 

In curious agreement with these notions, are the beliefs 
of various uncivilised races. Dr. Tylor, in his Primitive 
Culture (i. 440), relates how the North American Indians 
and others believe that their souls quit their bodies during 
sleep, and go about hunting, dancing, visiting, etc. 

Old legends relate how Simon Magus made statues walk ; 
how he flew in the air; changed his shape; assumed two 
faces ; made the vessels in a house seem to move of them- 
selves (Yule's Marco Polo, i. 306). Friar Ricold relates that 
" a man from India was said to fly. The truth was that he 

* Colonel Olcott and Mr. Sinnett mention this faculty as characteristic of 
Asiatic occnltisto. 


did walk close to the surface of the ground without touching 
it " (Yule's Marco Polo, i. 307). 

As to the phenomena of modern spiritualism, those are 
declared by Mr. Sinnett to be quite distinct from those of 
Asiatic occultism. He maintains that modern spiritualism 
requires the intervention of " mediums/' who neither control 
nor understand the manifestations of which they are the pas- 
sive instruments; whereas the phenomena of occultism are 
the " achievements of a conscious living operator," produced 
by a simple effort of his own will. The important point, he 
adds, " which occultism brings out is, that the soul of man, 
while something enormously subtler and more ethereal and 

more lasting than the body, is itself a material body 

The ether that transmits light is held to be material by any 
one who holds it to exist at all ; but there is a gulf of differ- 
ence between it and the thinnest of the gases." In another 
place he advances an opinion that the spirit is distinct from 
the soul. It is the soul of the soul. 

And again : " The body is the prison of the soul for 
ordinary mortals. We can see merely what comes before 
its windows ; we can take cognisance only of what is brought 
within its bars. But the adept has found the key of his 
prison, and can emerge. from it at pleasure. It is no longer a 
prison for him merely a dwelling. In other words, the adept 
can project his soul out of his body to any place he pleases 
with the rapidity of thought."* 

It is worth noting that many believers in Asiatic occultism 
hold that a hitherto unsuspected force exists in nature called 
Odic force (is this to be connected with Psychic force?), and 
that it is by this that the levitation of entranced persons is 
effected. Some are said to have the power of lightening their 
bodies by swallowing large draughts of air. The President 
of the Theosophical Society, Colonel Olcott, alleges that he 
himself, in common with many other observers, has seen a 
person raised in the air by a mere effort of will. 

Surely these phenomena may be mere feats of conjuring. 
In the Asiatic Monthly Journal for March, 1829, an account 
is given of a Brahman who poised himself apparently in the 
air, about four feet from the ground, for forty minutes, in the 
presence of the Governor of Madras. Another juggler sat on 
three sticks put together to form a tripod. These were 
removed, one by one, and the man remained sitting in the 

* The Occult World, by A. P, Sinnett Vice-President of the Theosophical 
Society, pp. 12, 15, 20. 


air. On the other hand, it is contended, that " since we 
have attained, in the last half-century, the theory of evolu- 
tion, the antiquity of man, the far greater antiquity of the 
world itself, the correlation of physical forces, the conserva- 
tion of energy, spectrum analysis, photography, the loco- 
motive engine, electric telegraph, spectroscope, electric light, 
and the telephone, who shall dare to fix a limit to the capacity 
of man ? " * Few will be disposed to deny altogether the 
truth of such a contention, however much they may dissent 
from Colonel Olcott's theosophical and neo-Buddhist views. 

There may be, of course, latent faculties in humanity which 
are at present quite unsuspected, and yet are capable of 
development in the future. 

I may also refer to the statement of Sir James Paget, in 
his recent address on " Scientific Study," that many things 
now held to be inconceivable and past man's imagination arfc 
profoundly and assuredly true, and that it will be in the power 
of Science to prove them to be so.f 

Clearly mystical Buddhism is far too big a subject to be 
compressed within the limits of a single paper. 

I will merely, in conclusion, express my doubts whether 
Asiatic occultism, as connected with the Yoga philosophy, 
and as believed in by Colonel Olcott, Mr. Sinnett, and many 
others, will ever bear the searching light of European 
scientific investigation. 

Nevertheless, it seems to me to be a subject which ought 
not to be brushed aside by our scientists as unworthy of con- 
sideration. It furnishes, in my opinion, a highly interesting 
topic of inquiry, especially in its bearing on the so-called 
" Spiritualism," " neo-Buddhism," and " Theosophy " of the 
present day. The practices connected with mesmerism, 
animal magnetism, clairvoyance, thought-reading, &c., have 
their counterparts in the Yoga system prevalent in India 
more than 2,000 years ago. " The thing that hath been, it is 
that which shall be ; and that which is done is that which 
shall be done : and there is no new thing under the sun." 

* Colonel Olcott's Lectures on Theosophy and Archaic Religions, p. 109. 
t Report in the Times newspaper. 


" It is one of the strange phenomena of the present day, that even 
educated persons are apt to fall into raptures over the doctrines of 
Buddhism, attracted by the bright gems which its admirers cull out 
of its moral code, and display ostentatiously, while keeping out of 
sight all the dark spots of that code, all its triviality and all those 
precepts which no Christian could soil his lips by uttering. 
It has even been asserted that much of the teaching in the 
Sermon on the Mount is based on previously current moral precepts, 
which Buddhism was the first to introduce to the world, 500 years 
before Christ. But this is not all. The admirers of Buddhism 
maintain that the Buddha was not a mere teacher of morality, but 
of many other great truths. He has been justly called, say they, 
' the Light of Asia,' though they condescendingly admit that 
Christianity, as a later development, is more adapted to become the 
religion of the world. 

NOTE. Those who have observed the progress of modern thought 
in regard to Neo-Buddhism will appreciate the insertion of the above 
remarks as a sequel to the Address : they were delivered at a 
public Conference this year, and have been revised for the Institute 
by the author. Another distinguished Member of the Institute 
writes : " It has always seemed to me that the important point 
to keep in view as to Neo-Bnddhism is that the sentiment in 
Arnold's Light of Asia is utterly false ; that the conceptions 
there are borrowed from Christianity ; that Buddhism has not 
merely failed in practice, but is essentially the bare hollow 
emptiness that Sir Monier- Williams describes, and offers nothing 
but metaphysics and superstition ; that, in fact, as to the first, 
Schopenhauer is a better leader for those who wish Nihilism, and 
that the whole of Esoteric Buddhism, so called, is a fraud." ED, 

" Let us, then, inquire for a moment what claim Gautama Buddha 
has to this title, ' the Light of Asia.' 

" Now, in the first place, those who give him this name forget that 
his doctrines only spread over Eastern Asia, and that Mohammed 
has as much right as Buddha to be called ' the Light of Asia.' But 
was the Buddha, in any true sense, a Light to any part of the 
world ? It is certainly true that the main idea implied by 
Buddhism is intellectual enlightenment. Buddhism, before all 
things, means enlightenment of mind, resulting from intense self- 
concentration, from intense abstract meditation, combined with the 
exercise of a man's own reasoning faculties and intuitions. It was 
only after such a course of meditation that the so-called Light of 
Knowledge burst upon the man Gautama. It was only then that 
he became Buddha, the Enlightened One. We read in the Lalita 
Vistara that, at the supreme moment of this enlightenment, actual 
flames of light issued from the crown of the Buddha's head. Of 
what nature, then, was this so-called Light of Knowledge that 
radiated from the Buddha ? Was it the knowledge of his own deep 
depravity of heart, or of the origin of sin ? No ; the Buddha's 
light was in this respect profound darkness. He confessed himself 
a downright Agnostic. The origin of the first evil act was to him 
an inexplicable mystery. Was it, then, a knowledge of the good- 
ness, justice, and holiness of an Omnipotent Creator ? Was it a 
knowledge of the Fatherhood of God ? No ; the Buddha's light 
was in these respects also absolute darkness. Here, too, he 
acknowledged himself a thorough Agnostic. He knew nothing of 
the existence of any Supreme Being of any Being higher than 
himself. What, then, was the light that broke upon the Buddha ? 
What was this enlightenment which has been so much written about 
and extolled ? All that he claimed to have discovered was the 
Origin of suffering and the remedy of suffering. All the light 
of knowledge to which he attained came to this : that suffering 
arises from indulging desires ; that suffering is inseparable from 
life ; that all life is suffering ; and that suffering is to be got rid 
of by the suppression of desires, and by the extinction of personal 
existence. You see here the first great contrast. When the 
Buddha said to his converts, 'Come, follow me,' he bade them 
expect to get rid of suffering, he told them to stamp out suffering 
by stamping out desires. When the Christ said to His disciples, 
' Come, follow me,' He bade them expect suffering, He told them 
to glory in their sufferings, to rejoice in their sufferings, nay, to 


expect the perfection of their characters through suffering. It is 
certainly noteworthy that both Christianity and Buddhism agree in 
asserting that all creation travaileth in pain, in bodily suffering, in 
tribulation. But mark the vast, the vital distinction in the teach- 
ing of each. The one taught men to aim at the glorification of the 
suffering body, the other at its utter annihilation. What says our 
Bible ? We Christians, it says, are members of Christ's Body, of 
His flesh and of His Bones, of that Divine Body, which was a 
suffering body, a cross-bearing body, and is now a glorified body, 
an ever-living, life-giving body. A Buddhist, on the other hand, 
repudiates, as a simple impossibility, all idea of being a member of 
the Buddha's body. How could a Buddhist be a member of a body 
which was burnt, which was dissolved, which became extinct at the 
moment when the Buddha's whole personality became extinguished 
also ? But, say the admirers of Buddhism, at least you will admit 
that the Buddha told men to get rid of sin, and to aim at sanctity 
of life ? Nothing of the kind. The Buddha had no idea of sin, 
as an offence against God, no idea of true holiness. What he said 
was, Get rid of the demerit of evil actions and accumulate merit by 
good actions. This storing up of merit like capital at a bank 
is one of those inveterate propensities of human nature which 
Christianity alone has delivered men from. 

" Only the other day I met an intelligent Sikh from the Punjab, 
and asked him about his religion. He replied, ' I believe in One 
God, and I repeat my prayers, called Jap-jee, every morning and 
evening. These prayers occupy six pages of print, but I can get 
through them in little more than ten minutes.' He seemed to 
pride himself on this rapid recitation as a work of increased merit. 
I said, 'What else does your religion require of you?' He 
replied, 'I have made one pilgrimage to a sacred well near 
Amritsar ; eighty -five steps lead down to it. I descended and bathed 
in the sacred pool. Then I ascended one step and repeated my 
Jap-jee in about ten minutes. Then I descended again to the 
pool and bathed again, and ascended to the second step and 
repeated my prayers a second time. Then I descended a third 
time, and ascended to the third step, and repeated my Jap-jee a 
third time ; and so on for the whole eighty-five steps. It took me 
exactly fourteen hours, from 5 p.m. one evening to 7 a.m. next 
morning.' I asked, ' What good did you expect to get by going 
through this task ? ' He replied, ' I hope I have laid up a great 
store of -merit, which will last me for a long time.' This, let me 


tell you, is a genuine Hindu idea. It is of the very essence of 
Brahmanism and Hinduism. It is equally a Mohammedan idea. 
It is even more a Buddhist idea. Buddhism recognises the terrible 
consequences of evil actions, but provides no remedy except the 
accumulation of merit by good actions as a counterpoise. The Buddha 
never claimed to be a deliverer from sin. He never pretended to 
set any one free from the bondage of sinful acts and sinful habits. 
He never professed to provide any remedy for the leprosy of sin, 
any medicine for a dying sinner. On the contrary, by his doctrine 
of Karma be bound a man hand and foot to the consequences of his 
own acts with chains of adamant. He said, in effect, to every one 
of his disciples, ' You are in slavery to a tyrant of your own setting 
up ; your own deeds, words, and thoughts in the present and for- 
mer states of being are your own avengers through a countless 
series of existences. If you have been a murderer, a thief, a liar, 
impure, a drunkard, you must pay the penalty in your next birth ; 
either in one of the hells, or as an unclean animal, or as an evil 
spirit, or as a demon. You cannot escape, and I am powerless to set 
you free.' ' Not in the heavens ' (says the Dhamma-pada), ' not 
in the midst of the sea, not if thou hidest thyself in the clefts of the 
mountains, wilt thou find a place where thou canst escape the force 
of thine own evil actions.' Contrast the first sermon of Christ, 
' The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath sent me to 
proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to 
them that are bound.' Yes, in Christ alone there is deliverance 
from the bondage of former transgressions, from the prison-house 
of former sins ; a total cancelling of the past, a complete blotting 
out of the handwriting, that is against us ; the opening of a clear 
course for every man to start afresh ; the free gift of pardon and of 
life to every criminal, to every sinner even the most heinous. 

" But here, again, I seem to hear some admirers of Buddhism 
say : 'We admit the force of these contrasts, but surely you will 
allow that in the law of Buddha we find precepts which tell us not 
to love the world, not to love money, not to show enmity towards 
our enemies, not to do unrighteous acts, not to commit impurities, 
to overcome evil by good, and to do to others as we would be done 
by?' Yes, I admit all this; nay, I admit even more. I allow 
that some Buddhist precepts go beyond corresponding Christian 
injunctions ; for the laws of Buddha prohibit all killing, even of 
animals for food. They demand total abstinence from stimulating 
drinks, disallowing even moderation in their use. They bid all 


who aim at the highest perfection abandon the world, and lead a 
life of celibacy and monkhood. In fine, they enjoin total absti- 
nence, because they dare not trust human beings to be temperate. 
How, indeed, could they trust them, when they promise no help, no 
Divine grace, no restraining power ? The glory of Christianity is, 
that having freely given that power to man, it trusts him to make 
use of the gift. It seems to speak to him thus : ' Thy Creator 
has endowed thee with freedom of choice, and therefore respects 
thy liberty of action. He imposes on thee no rule of total absti- 
nence in regard to natural desires ; He simply bids thee keep 
them within bounds, so that thy self-control and thy moderation may 
be known unto all men. He places thee in the world amid trials 
and temptations, and says to thee, ' My grace is sufficient for thee, 
and by its aid thou mayest overcome them all.' 

" And, believe me, the great contrast between the moral precepts 
of Buddhism and Christianity is not so much in the letter of the 
precepts as in the motive power brought to bear in their application. 
Buddhism says : Be righteous by yourselves, and through your- 
selves, and for the final getting rid of all suffering, of all 
individuality, of all life in yourselves. Christianity says : Be 
righteous through a power implanted in you from above ; through 
the power of a life-giving principle, freely given to you, and always 
abiding in you.' The Buddha said to his followers : ' Take 
nothing from me, trust to no one but yourselves.' Christ said, and 
says to us still : ' Take all from Me ; take this free gift ; put on 
this spotless robe ; eat this bread of life ; drink this living water.' 
He who receives a priceless gift is not likely to insult the 
Giver of it. He who accepts a snow-white robe is not likely 
willingly to soil it by impure acts. He who tastes life-giving bread 
is not likely to relish husks. He who draws deep draughts at a 
living well is not likely to prefer the polluted water of a stagnant 
pool. If any one, therefore, insists on placing the Buddhist and 
Christian moral codes on the same level, let him ask himself one 
plain question : Who would be the more likely to lead a godly, 
righteous, and sober life a life of moderation and temperance a 
life of holiness and happiness ; the man who has learnt his morality 
from the extinct Buddha, or the man who draws his morality and 
his holiness from the living, the eternal, the life-giving Christ ? 

" Still, I seem to hear some one say, ' We grant all this, we admit 
the truth of what you have stated ; nevertheless, for all that, you 
must allow that Buddhism conferred a great benefit on India by 


setting free its teeming population, before entangled in the meshes 
of ceremonial observances and Brahmanical priestcraft.' Yes, I 
admit this ; nay, I admit even more than this. I admit that 
Buddhism conferred many other benefits on the millions inhabiting 
the most populous part of Asia. It promoted progress up to a 
certain point ; it preached purity in thought, word, and deed 
(thoiigh only for the accumulation of merit) ; it proclaimed the 
brotherhood of humanity ; it avowed sympathy with social liberty 
and freedom ; it gave back much independence to women ; it incul- 
cated universal benevolence, extending even to animals ; and, from 
its declaration that a man's future depended on his present acts and 
conditions, it did good service for a time in preventing stagnation, 
promoting activity, and elevating the character of humanity. 

" But if, after makiug all these concessions, I am told that, on my 
OAvn showing, Buddhism was a kind of introduction to Christianity, or 
that Christianity is a kind of development of Buddhism, I must ask 
you to bear with me a little longer while I point out certain other 
contrasts, which ought to make it clear to every reasonable man 
how vast, how profound, how impassable is the gulf separating the 
true religion from a mere system of morality, founded on a form of 
pessimistic philosophy. And, first of all, let us note that Christ 
was God-sent, whereas Buddha was self-sent. Christ was with 
His Father from everlasting, and was in the fulness of time sent by 
Him into the world to be born of a pure virgin, in the likeness and 
fashion of men. Buddha, on the contrary, by a force derived from 
his own acts, passed through innumerable bodies of gods, demi-gods, 
demons, men, and animals, until he reached one out of numerous 
supposed heavens, and thence by his own will descended upon 
earth, to enter the side of his mother, in the form of a white 
elephant. Then Christ came down from heaven to be born on 
earth in a poor and humble station, to be reared in a cottage, to be 
trained to toilsome labour as a working man. Buddha came down 
to be born on earth in a rich and princely family ; to be brought 
up amid luxurious surroundings, and finally to go forth as a 
mendicant, begging his own food and doing nothing for his own 
support. Then, again, Christ as He grew up, showed no signs of 
earthly majesty in His external form, whereas the Buddha is 
described as marked with certain mystic symbols of universal 
monarchy on his feet and on his hands, and taller and more stately 
in frame and figure than ordinary human beings. Then, when each 
entered on his ministry as a teacher, Christ was despised and 


rejected by kings and princes, and followed by poor and ignorant 
fishermen, by common people, publicans, and sinners ; Buddha was 
honoured by kings and princes, and followed by rich men and 
learned disciples. Then Christ had all the treasures of knowledge 
hidden in Himself, and made known to His disciples that He was 
Himself the Way and the Truth, Himself their Wisdom, Righteous- 
ness, Sanctification, and Redemption ; Buddha declared that all 
enlightenment and wisdom were to be attained by his disciples, not 
through him, but through themselves and their own intuitions, 
and that, too, only after long and painful discipline in countless 
successive bodily existences. Then, when we come to compare the 
death of each, the contrast reaches its climax, for Christ was put 
to death .violently by wicked men and died in agony an atoning 
death, suffering for the sins of the world at the age of thirty -three, 
leaving behind in Jerusalem about one hundred and twenty disciples 
after a short ministry of three years ; whereas Buddha died peace- 
fully among his friends, suffering from an attack of indigestion at 
the age of eighty, leaving behind many thoiisands of disciples after 
forty-five years of teaching and preaching. And what happened 
after the death of each ? Christ the Holy One saw no corruption, 
but rose again in His present glorified body, and is alive for ever- 
more. Nay, has life in Himself ever-flowing in life-giving streams 
towards His people. The Buddha is dead and gone for ever ; his 
body, according to the testimony of his own disciples, was burnt, 
more than 400 years before the Advent of Christ, and its ashes dis- 
tributed everywhere as relics. Even according to the Buddha's 
own declaration he now lives only in the doctrine which he left behind 
him for the guidance of his followers. And here again in regard to 
the doctrine left behind by each, a vast distinction is to be noted. 
For the doctrine delivered by Christ to His disciples is to spread by 
degrees everywhere until it prevails eternally. Whereas the 
doctrine left by Buddha, though it advanced rapidly by leaps and 
bounds, is, according to his own admission, to fade away by degrees, 
till at the end of 5,000 years it has disappeared altogether from the 
earth, and another Buddha must descend to restore it. 

" Then that other Buddha must be followed by countless succeed- 
ing Buddhas in succeeding ages, whereas there is only one Christ, 
who can have no successor, for He is still alive and for ever present 
with His people. ' Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of 
the world.' Then observe that, although the Buddha's doctrine 
was ultimately written down by his disciples in certain collections 


of books, in the same manner as the doctrine of Christ, yet that a 
gulf of difference a fundamental difference of character separates 
the Sacred Books of each, the Bible of the Christian and the 
Bible of the Buddhist. The Christian's Bible claims to be a super- 
natural Revelation, yet it attaches no mystical talismanic virtue to 
the mere sound of its words. On the other hand the characteristic of 
the Buddhist Bible is that it utterly repudiates all claim to be a super- 
natural revelation ; yet the very sound of its words is believed to 
possess a meritorious efficacy, capable of elevating anyone who 
hears it to heavenly abodes in future existences. In illustration I 
may advert to a legend current in Ceylon, that once on a time 
500 bats lived in a cave where two monks daily recited the 
Buddha's law (the recitation being called ' Bana '). These bats 
gained such merit by simply hearing the sound of the words 
that when they died they were all re-born as men and ultimately 
as gods. 

" But, again. I am sure to hear the admirers of Buddhism say - 
Is it not the case that the doctrine of Buddha, like the doctrine of 
Christ, has self-sacrifice as its key-note ? Well, be it so. I admit 
that the Buddha taught a kind of self-sacrifice. I admit that it is 
recorded of the Buddha himself that on one occasion he plucked 
out his own eyes, and that on another he cut off his own head, and 
that on a third he cut his own body to pieces, to redeem a dove 
from a hawk. But note the vast distinction between the self- 
sacrifice taught by the two systems. Christianity demands the 
suppression of selfishness. Buddhism demands the suppression of 
self, with the one object of extinguishing all consciousness of self. 
In the one the true self is elevated and intensified. In the other 
the true self is annihilated by the practice of a false form of non- 
selfishness, which has for its final object the annihilation of the Ego, 
the utter extinction of the illusion of personal individuality. 

" Then note other contrasts. According to the Christian Bible, 
regulate and sanctify the heart's desires and affections. Accord- 
ing to the Buddhist, suppress and utterly destroy them if you wish 
for true sanctification. Christianity teaches that, in the highest 
form of life, love is intensified. Buddhism teaches that, in the 
highest state of existence, all love is extinguished. According to 
Christianity, go and earn your own bread, support yourself and 
your family. Marriage, it says, is honourable and undefiled, and 
married life is a field 011 which holiness may grow and be developed. 
Nay, more. Christ Himself honoured a wedding with his presence, 


and took up little children in His arms and blessed them. Buddhism, 
on the other hand, says, Avoid married life ; shun it as if it were 
a burning pit of live coals ; or, having entered on it, abandon wife, 
children, and home, and go about as celibate monks, engaging in 
nothing but in meditation and recitation of the Buddha's Law 
that is, if you aim at the highest degree of sanctification. And then 
comes the important contrast, that no Christian trusts to his own 
works as the sole meritorious cause of salvation, but is taught to 
say, I have no merit of my own, and when I have done all I am an 
unprofitable servant. Whereas Buddhism, on the contrary, teaches 
that every man must trust to his own merits only. Fitly do the 
rags worn by its monks symbolise the miserable patchwork of 
its own self-righteousness. Not that Christianity ignores the 
necessity for good works ; on the contrary, no other system insists 
on a lofty morality so strongly, but only as a thank-offering only 
as the outcome and evidence of faith never as the meritorious 
instrument of salvation. 

" Lastly, I must advert again to the most important and essential 
of all the distinctions which separate Christianity from Buddhism. 
Christianity regards personal life as the most precious, the most 
sacred of all possessions, and God himself as the highest example 
of intense personality, the great ' I am that I am,' and teaches 
us that we are to thirst for a continuance of personal life as a gift 
for Him ; nay, more, that we are to thirst for the living God Him- 
self and for conformity to His likeness ; while Buddhism sets forth 
as the highest of all aims the utter extinction of personal identity 
the utter annihilation of the Ego of all existence in any form 
whatever, and proclaims, as the only true creed, the ultimate reso- 
lution of everything into nothing, of every entity into pure non- 
entity. What shall I do to inherit eternal life ? says the Christian. 
What shall I do to inherit eternal extinction of life? says the Budd- 
hist. It seems a mere absurdity to have to ask. in concluding this 
address, Whom shall we choose as our guide, our hope, our salva- 
tion ' the Light of Asia,' or ' the Light of the world ' ? the 
Buddha, or the Christ ? It seems mere mockery to put this final 
question to rational and thoughtful men in the nineteenth century: 
Which book shall we clasp to our hearts in the hour of death the 
book that tells us of the extinct man Buddha, or the Bible that 
reveals to us the living Christ, the Redeemer of the World ? " 












THE King of Babylon had led into captivity part of the 
population of the kingdom of Judah ; the inhabitants of 
Jerusalem had turned a deaf ear to the warnings of the 
prophet Ezekiel, and the threatened judgment had fallen on 
them. Standing near the river Chebar, in a strange land, the 
prophet turns for a while from his unfortunate countrymen, 
and, looking towards the neighbouring nations, predicts that 
some day the storm will burst upon them. The curse of 
Egypt is one of the most striking and the most terrible. Thus 
saith the Lord God : " I will also destroy the idols, and I will 
cause the images to cease from Noph ; and there shall be no 
more a prince out of the land of Egypt ; and I will put a fear 
in the land of Egypt. And I will make Pathros desolate, and 
will set a fire in Zoan, and will execute judgments in N.o. 
And I will pour my fury upon Sin, the stronghold of Egypt ; 
and I will set a fire in Egypt ; Sin shall be in great anguish, 
and No shall be broken up : and Noph shall have adversaries 
in the day-time. The young men of Aven and of Pi-beseth 
shall fall by the sword : and these cities shall go into captivity " 
(Ezek. xxx. 13-18). 

It is interesting to notice the cities which are mentioned by 


the prophet. They are clearly the most important, and those 
which were best known to his countrymen. I shall not insist 
here on several of these names, which differ according to the 
translations, but I should like to direct your attention to 
this sentence : " The young men of Aven and Pi-beseth 
shall fall by the sword." Aven (Heliopolis) is well known ; 
but what is Pi-beseth (Bubastis) ? It is one of the 
localities which are most frequented by travellers, or at 
least near which hundreds and thousands constantly pass. 
Whoever goes from Cairo to Suez is obliged to stop at Zagazig, 
a junction of several lines. Before reaching the station 
and after leaving it, the railway skirts large mounds 
covered with ruins of brick walls, which mark the site of 
Bubastis. The mounds, even now, cover a considerable surface, 
though they are much reduced from what they were. Of the 
4,000 acres which they occupied at the beginning of this 
century, the greater part has been levelled, and is now culti- 
vated; there are now only 800 acres left, and they are 
diminishing every day. 

Several Egyptologists have visited the place. The opinion 
generally prevailing being that the temple had entirely disap- 
peared, leaving no other traces than a few blocks scattered here 
and there in a great depression, which was the site of the 
building. Mariette had attempted excavations, which had 
proved fruitless; and one might reasonably think that the 
temple of Bubastis, which, according to the description of 
Herodotus must have been of considerable size, had suffered 
the same misfortune as many others ; that it had been quarried 
out entirely, and the stones all carried away for building 
or for agricultural purposes. I shall not recall here the 
reasons which induced me to settle at Bubastis with Mr. 
Griffith in the spring of 1887, and to begin excavations. Our 
first attempts soon showed that the temple had not disappeared; 
on the contrary, the earth concealed heaps of granite blocks 
and gigantic columns, which reminded one of what is seen in 
the ruins of San. Our task, therefore, was to lay bare all this 
field of ruins, the extent of which we could judge to be con- 
siderable, and we applied ourselves to this work during the 
winters of 1888 and 1889. Not only did we remove all the 
earth which covered the stones, but in order to be quite certain 
that nothing was left hidden we pulled down the heaps of stones 
which had been piled up by the fall of the walls of the. two 
first halls. We rolled and turned every block, and this 
long and costly, but sometimes most exciting, proceeding has 
given us inscriptions and monuments of the greatest value. 

Standing at the entrance on the eastern side, one overlooks 


now a field of ruins, which is still most impressive, although 
not so much so as last year, since a great many interesting 
monuments have been carried away. A space of the length of 
COO feet is covered with enormous granite blocks, capitals of 
columns, fragments of Hathor heads and broken statues of 
colossal size. The general form of the temple is still dis- 
cernible. It consisted of four halls, the dates of which differ. 
The first, from the east, which is perhaps the most ancient, 
had at the entrance two enormous columns with palm capitals ; 
outside the door were the two great Hyksos statues, one of 
which is now in the British Museum. Beyond was a second 
hall, also very old. After the time of Osorkon II. it was called 
the " festive hall," in memory of a great religious ceremony 
which took place in the twenty-second year of his reign. Fur- 
ther west still was the most luxurious part of the temple : a hall 
supported by columns with lotus or palm- leaf capitals, and by 
pillars ending in a beautifully-sculptured Hathor head, the 
best specimen of which is now in the Boston Museum. The 
termination of the temple was a room of a, very extensive area, 
probably the largest of the four ; it was never finished, and at 
the end was the shrine of the goddess Bast, an exquisite piece 
of sculpture, fragments of which are to be seen in the British 

Except Tanis, a city which in many respects has a great 
resemblance to Bubastis, there is no city in the Delta which has 
yielded so many monuments, of such very different epochs, 
varying from the Fourth dynasty to the Ptolemies. I must 
say I do' not believe one could easily find excavations more 
interesting, and at times more exciting, than these. A cir- 
cumstance which added to the surprises and to the unforeseen, 
is, that there is no temple which has gone through such frequent 
and complete transformations, and where the usurpation is so 
easily discernible and has been practised on such a large scale. 
You have heard of the mania of Barneses II. for writing his 
name everywhere, no matter who was the author of the 
monument on which he desired to record his memory. The 
occasions in which the name of Rameses II. is met with in the 
temple of Bubastis are nearly innumerable. I have examined 
with the greatest care the colossal architraves on which his 
name is written in hieroglyphics more than two feet high, and 
I have not found one of them which was not a usurpation 
everywhere an old inscription had been erased ; what Rameses 
II. really added to the temple is probably not considerable, 
though at first sight one would think that hardly anything 
had existed before his reign. 

One of the results of the excavations is to show that 
B 2 


Bubastis was already a large city at a very remote date, 
and that it went through the vicissitudes which have marked 
the history of Egypt. It must rank between Tanis in the 
north, and Heliopolis further south ; and in the narratives of 
the events which took place in Lower Egypt, we must take 
account of the presence of a great city at the entrance of the 
valley called the Wadi Tumilat, the highroad from Egypt to 

Let us go back to the dawn of the history of Egypt. 
Manetho says, that under the first king of the Second dynasty, 
a chasm opened itself near Bubastis, in which a great many 
people lost their life. We do not go quite so far back in our 
discoveries, but the Old Empire has left important traces in 
the two first halls. Before having moved one single block, we 
could see on the top of the ruins of the entrance hall a stone 
where was sculptured a false door, such as is constantly met 
with in the tombs of the Old Empire, namely, two door posts, 
between which is a large roll generally bearing the name of 
the deceased. How that kind of ornament occurs in a build- 
ing without funerary character, I cannot explain ; however it 
is to be traced to the Old Empire, but 1 could not make out 
which king had it made, for his cartouches have been so care- 
fully erased, that there remain only the top of the oval and a 
disk. The subsequent researches in that part of the building 
have not been fruitless ; we have unearthed the standard of 
Cheops, and the standard and name of Chefren, the construc- 
tors of the two great pyramids, who have both written their 
name in the temple of Bubastis in large and beautiful hiero- 
glyphs; the great antiquity of the temple is thus well established. 
In the second hall we found, in 1887, the cartouche of a king 
of the Sixth dynasty, Pepi, and not only his name, but his 
titles which he engraved on what must have been the entrance 
of a room. At the beginning of this century, Burton had 
discovered the name of Pepi further north, at Tanis ; a doubt 
had been expressed whether it was the king himself who had 
extended his constructions so far north, or whether perhaps in 
later years a stone bearing his name had been brought to 
Tanis with building material, by Rameses II. or some other 
king ; but now the doubt is no longer possible. It is not in 
Tanis only, but also in Bubastis, that stones bearing the name 
of Pepi are found, and here there are several, fitting together, 
and the remains of a construction may be traced ; besides, Pepi 
is in company with two other kings, a great deal more ancient. 
Thus the foundation of Bubastis carries us back to the 
beginning of the historical times of Egypt, and is contem- 
porary with the pyramids, its oldest monuments. 


It is to be noticed that the three early kings whose 
names we met with were conquerors, or, at least, warriors, 
who fought against the inhabitants of Sinai. What may 
have been the motive of these struggles ? Perhaps the 
possession of mines of copper, which have been worked 
from a high antiquity in the peninsula, or perhaps also 
the quarries ; for it is an interesting question, and one which 
has not yet been solved in a satisfactory way, where the stones 
came from with which some of the Egyptian monuments are 
made, especially black granite. It has always been admitted 
that it came from the quarries of Upper Egypt, situated in the 
Arabian desert, at a place now called Hamamat, between the 
present cities of Keneh and Kosseir. This explanation, which 
holds good in the case of kings who had the command over 
the whole land of Egypt, is not to be accepted for kings like 
the Hyksos, who ruled only over Lower Egypt, and were at 
war with the native princes of Thebes. Where was the stone 
quarried for the great statue which is now in the British 
Museum ? The solution of this question is rendered more 
interesting by the fact that in the last discoveries of very 
early Chaldgean monuments, at a place called Telloh, in Lower 
Babylonia, it has been noticed that for several of them the 
stone is the same as that used for some Egyptian statues. The 
eminent Assyriologist, Dr. Oppert, maintains that this material 
was found in the country, called in the cuneiform inscriptions 
Naggan, namely, the Sinaitic peninsula and the part of Egypt 
near the Eed Sea, while other Assyrian scholars think that it 
came from the coast of the Persian Gulf. The question is an 
open one, to be settled only by geologists, who will allow me 
to direct their attention to the search for the quarries of the 
Sinaitic peninsula. 

Two of the kings whose names have been recovered at 
Bubastis, Cheops and Pepi, are mentioned in a text of a 
much later epoch relating the construction of the temple of 
Denderah. We read there in two Ptolemaic inscriptions the 
following words : " The great foundation of Denderah. The 
repair of the monument was made by King Thothmes III., 
as it was found in ancient writings of the days of King 
Cheops." And further : " The great foundation of Denderah 
was found on decayed rolls of skins of kids in the time of the 
followers of Horus. It was found in a brick wall on the south 
side, in the reign of the King Pepi." We must not attribute 
too great an importance to inscriptions which have a legendary 
character, but they indicate that the authority of Cheops and 
Pepi extended over Upper Egypt : and we know now through 
the excavations at Bubastis that Cheops and Chefren reigned 


also over the Delta, certainly over the eastern part. Before 
our excavations their names had never been found north of 
Memphis; it appears now that at this remote epoch their 
kingdom had already reached what I should call the natural 
limits of Egypt. 

The Fourth dynasty, the dynasty of Cheops and Chefreu, 
was one of the most powerful of the Old Empire, and it 
seems that under the succeeding one the kingdom was rather 
weakened; but there is a marked revival under one of the 
first kings of the Sixth dynasty, Pepi Merira. As I said 
before, his cartouche has been found twice at Bubastis, in 
a different form from what it is at Tanis. There he gives 
himself only as the son of Hathor, the goddess of Ant 
(Denderah). At Bubastis, on the contrary, he is anxious to 
affirm that he is son of Turn, the god of On (Heliopolis), and 
of Hathor, the goddess of Ant. The geographical names must 
not be taken in a literal sense, as meaning only two cities ; 
they must be interpreted in their mythological sense, as 
meaning the two parts of Egypt. Pepi indicates in this way 
that he is lord of the whole country. 

Under the Old Empire there was a temple at Bubastis, but 
although we found traces of it in the two first halls, it is not 
possible even to conjecture what were its forms and dimen- 
sions. It lasted very late down to the Twelfth dynasty ; ono 
of its kings, Usertesen I., wrote on one of the stones a 
small inscription, not very deeply cut, such as the kings often 
did to record that they had gone through a city and presented 
offerings to the gods, but not that they had made any great 
building. The venerable sanctuary of Cheops and Pepi was 
still standing at his time. 

Here arises a question which I am obliged to answer in a 
different way from what I have recently seen printed in several 
papers. Among the numerous statues discovered at Bubastis 
Is there one which may be considered as a work of the Old 
Empire ? The opinion that this is the case has been expressed 
at a meeting of the Egypt Exploration Fund. It has been said 
that we have a portrait of Cheops in one of the statues 
now in the British Museum. Among the monuments brought 
from Bubastis you will notice the colossal torso, in red 
granite, of a standing king who holds in his left hand a 
standard. The statue has no head-dress; it has very thick 
and crisp hair, not unlike what we see on sculptures or 
statues of the Old Empire. The figure was destined to 
support something, for the top of the head is quite flat, 
showing that some piece of architecture rested upon it. It is 
not the only one of its kind. We found four absolutely 


alike in type, workmanship, and size ; two of them have 
been carried away, one to Boston, the other to the British 
Museum ; two others are still in situ. They all bear the 
name of Rameses II., but we know well enough that this 
does not prove anything as regards their origin. However, 
I do not believe that they belong to the Old Empire. 
What strikes one in looking at those monuments is the 
total absence of all that constitutes the portrait : there is 
nothing individual, nothing characteristic of one person. Tho 
face is broad, very short, rather flat with projecting eyes : 
there is no finish in the workmanship. It is true that the 
statue being of colossal size, the features were to be seen at a 
distance, and the effect would probably be better if we saw 
them replaced at the height at which they originally stood. 
It is very likely that they were placed on each side of two 
doors in the festive hall. Statues of the same kind have been 
found at San, at Ramleh, at Tel el Yahoodieh ; one which is 
in the museum of Turin is supposed to come from San; thus, 
they were all discovered in the Delta. In my opinion they are 
statues which had only an architectural purpose, and which 
are no more portraits than the caryatids which adorn some of 
our buildings; they are mere ornaments on which Rameses U. 
wrote his name, although the features are as different as pos- 
sible from the tine type of the Ramessides. I am ready to 
admit any amount of usurpation from Rameses II. ; but I do 
not believe in the high antiquity of those statues ; theirs is a 
style which dates from the Nineteenth dynasty, from Rameses 
II., and which was continued by his son Menephtah, and even 
later ; and this peculiar style was executed by artists of the 
Delta, whose skill at that time was still sufficient for the re- 
quirements of architecture. I am led to this conclusion by 
the fact that these statues are too much alike; they are all 
cast in the same mould, it is a common type of face, which is 
copied from the one to the other without individual character. 
It is in accordance with the custom of Rameses II., whose main 
desire was to have a great number of monuments ; he did not 
look too closely at the artistic side, provided they were 
numerous. In this case, when he wrote his name on these 
statues, he did not speak an untruth; they are his work. As 
for the workmanship, it must not be forgotten that such 
statues are seen only in the Delta. Local taste and local 
fashion are very important factors in Egyptian art, whicli 
have been too often overlooked ; they existed in former times 
as they are still to be found at the present day. Evidently 
the taste of the sculptors of Bubastis or Tanis was not exactly 
the same as among the artists of Thebes or Abydos. 


The Twelfth dynasty is certainly one of the most powerful 
in Egyptian history. Let us consider its political action its 
conquests carried far on the Upper Nile and we shall 
form a high opinion of the character of its kings ; but our 
admiration will be increased if we look at the immense con- 
structions raised by them all over the country. Manetho calls 
them Diospolites, giving them Thebes as birth-place. They 
were the founders of the great temple of Amon, and they 
worked most actively in the province called the Fayoom. I 
need only mention the Labyrinth and Lake Moeris. The recent 
excavations made by Mr. Flinders Petrie and myself have 
shown that they gave a great importance to the Delta, espe- 
cially to its eastern part. Tanis was already known as a 
locality where their monuments were abundant ; but we have 
added three more : Amem, a dependency of the nome of Tanis 
excavated by Mr. Flinders Petrie, and some monuments of which 
are at the British Museum ; Khataanah, of which we do not 
know the old name ; and lastly, Bubastis. It is probable 
that further explorations will reveal more monuments of the 
Twelfth dynasty in the Delta, either by actual discoveries or 
by showing that usurpation has been practised on their work 
by later sovereigns, who attributed to themselves the work of 
their glorious predecessors. 

Amenemha I. is the first king of the Twelfth dynasty whose 
name occurs at Bubastis. It is engraved on a stone removed 
from its original place, and employed by Nectanebo I. in the 
construction of the western part of the temple. The name is 
not complete ; we have only the standard and the beginning 
of an inscription saying that " he erected a statue to his 
mother Bast ; he made the hall. . . ." Evidently he 
enlarged in some way the sanctuary of the Old Empire. 
After him Usertesen I., well known by the obelisk of Helio- 
polis, did not go on building ; his name occurs on what was 
very likely part of the temple of Cheops and Pepi. 

The most important transformation of the temple seems to 
have been made by Usertesen III., whose cartouche occurs 
several times and in very large proportions. Not only did he 
enlarge the two halls, of which this temple consisted, but he 
added to it what must have given to the whole building that 
character of beauty which struck Herodotus so vividly, for 
the Greek traveller says that ' ' though other temples may be 
grander, and may have cost more in the building, there is none 
so pleasant to the eye as this of Bubastis" (Rawlinson, 
Herod., ii. ch. 137). In my opinion, Usertesen III. added to 
the temple the hypostyle hall, the magnificent building of which 
remains are now in the British Museum and at Boston. 


Unfortunately it is now so much ruined, having been so long 
used as a quarry, that it is difficult to obtain an exact 
idea of its form. It is nearly certain that the roof was 
supported by alternate rows of columns and square pillars, 
ending in a Hathor head. In the centre were four large 
columns of red granite, with capitals in the form of lotus buds, 
and with shafts representing a bundle of those plants. The 
inhabitants of Liverpool had the opportunity, a short time 
ago, of seeing on the quay two fragments of one of those 
columns, a perfect capital, and the piece of the shaft fitting 
immediately underneath, the whole having a length of about 
20 feet ; and I dare say they will have been struck, not only 
by the size of the monuments, but also by the vigour of the 
work and the beautiful polish, which has lasted to the present 
day. Outside of those columns were square pillars sur- 
mounted by the head of the goddess Hathor, a woman's face 
surrounded by great locks and having ears of a heifer. The 
head was sculptured on two opposite sides of the pillars ; on 
the two others was seen the plant of Upper and Lower Egypt 
standing between two crowned asps. One specimen only of 
these fine pieces of art has been preserved complete; it is 
now in the Museum at Boston. Next to these pillars came 
again columns of polished red granite, with graceful capitals 
representing palm-leaves. One of them is in the British 
Museum ; it is nearly complete. We read on it the names of 
Barneses II. and Osorkon II., but the column is much older, 
for an inscription of Rameses is cut through an ornament of the 
shaft. These columns bear witness to the changes which took 
place in the gods to whom the temple was dedicated. Rameses II. 
had the name of Set sculptured on the top ; Osorkon changed 
the figure of the god, made him a lion's head, and gave him 
the appearance of Mahes, the son of the cat goddess Bast. 
To the palm columns belonged a second set of pillars with 
Hathor' s head, but neither so large nor so beautiful as the 
others. One of them has gone to the Museum at Sydney. 

At the end of the Twelfth dynasty the temple consisted of 
the first two halls and the hall of columns (some of them 
were gigantic monoliths). I shall only mention that the 
Thirteenth dynasty, a series of princes very little known, 
appears also at Bubastis. The first king, Sebekhotep I., has 
engraved his cartouche on some large architraves. It is the first 
time that his name is met with in a temple. It is inscribed 
also on rocks in Nubia, showing that under his rule the 
power of Egypt was not diminished. In excavating buildings 
like the temple of Bubastis, it is impossible not to be struck 
by the facility with which the old Egyptians carried enormous 


blocks of granite from the quarries cf Assooan to localities in 
the Delta, which, no doubt, were then more accessible than now, 
but which could only be reached at the cost of much labour. 
We know what the difficulties are in our time of steam-engines 
and railways ; my friend, Count d'Hulst, might write a book 
on all the troubles he experienced in the ungrateful task of 
transferring monuments of a total weight of about a hundred 
tons from Tel Basta to an English steamer in Alexandria. 
But in the time of the ancient Egyptians, thousands, tens of 
thousands of enormous blocks, colossal statues weighing near 
nine hundred tons, obelisks, etc., were taken out of the quarries 
of Assooan, floated down the Nile, and dragged through the 
marshes of the Delta, where they adorned the temple of San, 
Bubastis, or Behbeit. I can assure you that when I unearthed 
the magnificent columns of Bubastis I did not know which 
was most to be admired, the perfection of the work or the 
power of the men, who, with scanty and imperfect mechanical 
means, had achieved such stupendous results. 

Let us now give the dates of the principal facts which we 
have ascertained. In opposition to the generally-prevailing 
opinion, we saw that Bubastis went back as far at least as 
King Cheops; that is, to the year 3700 B.C., according to 
Brugsch's chronology. After him, Pepi, about 3200 B.C., has 
left important traces in the temple. We described the 
transformation which took place eight hundred years after- 
wards under the kings of the Twelfth dynasty. With the end 
of the Fourteenth dynasty, we have reached the 24th or 23rd 
century B.C., one of the most obscure periods of the history 
of Egypt, but also one of the most interesting, and on which 
the excavations of Bubastis have given us most unexpected in- 
formation I mean the invasion of the Shepherds, or Hyksos. 

We read in Manetho, quoted by Josephus, the following 
words : " The so-called Timaos became king. Egypt during 
his reign lay, I know not why, under the Divine displeasure, 
and, on a sudden, men from the East country of an ignoble 
race, audaciously invaded the land. They easily got pos- 
session of it, and established themselves without a struggle, 
making the rulers thereof tributary to them, burning their 
cities and demolishing the temples of their gods. All the 
natives they treated in the most brutal manner; some they 
put to death, others they reduced to slavery with their wives 
and children. 

Subsequently also they chose a king out of their own body, 
Salatis by name. He established himself at Memphis, took 
tribute from the Upper and the Lower country, and placed 
garrisons in the most suitable places . . . The general name 


of their people was Hyksos, which means shepherd kings ; for 
Hyk signifies in the sacred language a king, and Sos in the 
demotic is shepherd and shepherds. Some say they were 
Arabs . . ." 

Arabs or Phoenicians are the names most frequently applied 
to them by the ancient authors. Recent researches seem to 
point as their native place to Mesopotamia, where at that time 
important events took place. We know that about that 
epoch, the King of Elam, Khudur Nankhundi, invaded Baby- 
lonia, plundered the country and carried away from the city of 
Urukh to his capital Shushan a considerable number of statues 
of divinities. We cannot affirm that the invasion of Egypt by 
the Hyksos is connected with this particular war ; but it is 
probable that the struggles between the Elamites and the* 
Mesopotamians brought about the invasion of Egypt. I do 
not suppose that the Elamites went as far as the Nile, but 
they drove out of their country a mixed multitude belonging 
to different races, and it overran Egypt, too weak to resist. If, 
as I believe, the Hyksos were Mesopotamians, they were not 
barbarians : they belonged to nations which had already 
reached a high degree of civilization, and which in particular 
were well skilled in the art of sculpture. There is no doubt 
that the conquest of Egypt must have been signalized by 
devastation and ruin ; it never was otherwise in the wars of 
Eastern nations; but as the invaders were not barbarians, 
as they came from a civilized country, it explains why they 
soon submitted to the influence of the more refined Egyptians, 
and why they easily adopted the principal features of Egyptian 
civilization, which was not unlike their own. 

The chronographers have preserved the name of several 
of their kings ; they are called Silites, or Salatis, Beon, 
Apachnas, Jannas, or Janras, Asseth and Apophis, in 
Egyptian Apepi. The interesting point to ascertain was 
whether the Egyptian documents agreed with the statements 
of the Greek writers as to the barbarity of the Hyksos. 
Were they the cruel and brutal conquerors described by 
Manetho ? Very likely they were at first when they attacked 
the country, but certainly not at the end of their domination. 
The name of Apepi was known long ago from a papyrus 
relating his struggle with a Theban prince. To Mariette 
belongs the honour of having first discovered his name on 
stone monuments. In his very successful excavations at 
Tanis he found the name of Apepi written on the arm of a 
statue, evidently older than the Hyksos king. At the same 
time he noticed the name on monuments of a special kind, 
which have since been called Hyksos monuments. They are 


sphinxes with bodies of lions and human faces. The head is 
surrounded by a very thick mane, and the type of the 
features is quite different from the Egyptian. The cheek- 
bones are high and strongly marked, the nose wide and flat 
and aquiline, the mouth projecting forward with stout lips. 
At first sight, it is impossible not to be struck by the fact 
that we have there the image of a foreign race and nob of 
native Egyptians. Thus there has been an art of the Hyksos, 
or rather the conquered have made the education of their 
masters ; for, except the characteristic foreign type, the work- 
manship, the style, and the attitude are absolutely Egyptian, 
and these monuments must have been made by Egyptian 

Besides the art, the Hyksos adopted also the writing, the 
language of the Egyptians ; the names of their kings are 
written like those of the native Pharaohs with two cartouches, 
the first of which was taken by them on the day of their 
coronation, and always contained the name of Ra. Never- 
theless, they remained faithful to the worship of Set, an 
Asiatic divinity often called also Baal, and worshipped as 
well by Semites as by nations of another race like the Khetas 
or Hittites. Thus, under the reign of the last Hyksos rulers, 
except that the sovereign belonged to a foreign race, Egypt 
must have presented an appearance very much like what it 
was before : a well ordered and governed state. 

It has been questioned whether the Hyksos had really 
attained a high degree of civilization, and whether the monu- 
ments attributed to them by Marietto were really their own 
work. Some Egyptologists have suggested that the strange 
monuments of Tanis were, perhaps, the produce of local art, 
or that they belonged to a much older period ; in this last 
case Apepi would only have usurped what had been done 
before him, and there would be no Hyksos style. I must say 
that when I went for the first time to Tanis, I very nearly 
adopted this view ; but the discoveries made in the excava- 
tions of 1888 have convinced me that Mariette's opinion was 
the truth. There has been a Hyksos art, and kings of later 
time have not hesitated in taking possession for themselves 
of what the so-called barbarians had made. I had the good 
fortune in 1888 of finding three of the most interesting 
Hyksos monuments which have been preserved. 

We were working in the eastern part of the temple of 
Bubastis near the entrance, when the workmen unearthed first 
the head-dress of a statue, in black granite, wearing the royal 
asp ; underneath were only the forehead and the eyes, for the 
head had been broken horizontally at the height of the origin 


of the nose. The head-dress was absolutely that of an 
Egyptian king, and the height of the whole head could be 
estimated as more than three feet. The next day, to our 
great joy, the lower part of the head was discovered ; it 
was complete, except a fragment of one of the cheeks 
and one of the ears, and we recognised at once the Hyksos 
type; there was the projecting mouth, the thick and curved 
nose, the strongly-marked cheek-bones, the cheeks themselves 
being rather hollow. It was the first time that the head of a 
Hyksos king was discovered wearing a thoroughly Egyptian 
head-dress, which rendered more conspicuous the strange type 
of the foreign race. At the distance of a few feet a broken 
fragment of black granite was emerging out of the ground, 
and on digging a few inches it was easy to recognise that it 
was the lower part of the legs of a colossal statue, which clearly 
belonged to the same monument as the head. I could not 
excavate immediately. It was the beginning of March, and 
the soil was still so full of infiltration-water that beyond a 
certain depth we were in ponds of water, which hampered the 
work considerably. I waited a few weeks ; the water sank, 
and my impatience grew in proportion. At last, although 
there was still much water, I ordered that the base of the 
statue should b3 cleared and dragged out. The first thing to 
be done was of course to make room around it. Our surprise 
was immense when this revealed to us the lower part of a 
colossal torso close to the base we were endeavouring to drag 
out ; and a few feet to the south, very near the place where we 
had found the broken head, the base of another statue of the 
same size, lying on the side and showing the whole of one leg. 
Thus it was not one but two statues which had stood there ; 
we had two bases, we could reasonably hope that we should 
discover another head. The one we had, the Hyksos, was 
broken, perhaps the other might be intact. From that moment 
the researches grew intensely interesting. I promised a good 
baksheesh to the workmen if the head was discovered ; and a 
few hours afterwards, while I was in another part of the 
temple, I suddenly heard them shouting : rdy, rds, the head, 
the head ! I shall never forget this sight, nor this hour, 
perhaps the most impressive I went through during my five 
winters of excavation. It was late in the afternoon ; out of a 
pond of water, between the baseband the torso, emerged the 
top of a head and the royal asp, the upper part only had been 
cleared and was visible above the water. There was no place for 
us to stand, or rather to kneel, except on that head, which we 
did in turn, Count d'Hulst and I ; and while the excited work- 
men drove out with their hands the water which was coming 


out of the earth in streams, or took away the mud in which 
the face was buried, we felt anxiously with the hand how 
far the features were preserved. There is the forehead, the 
eyes, the origin of the nose, but here a fracture. . . I had 
one instant of despair, but no, it is only a slight wound ; here 
are the nostrils, the mouth, the beard ! The head is perfect ! 
It was nearly dark ; we let the water cover it again entirely, 
and the next morning we raised triumphantly our treasure, 
which now stands in the British Museum. 

A few days afterwards two illustrious visitors, Dr. Schlie- 
mann and Dr. Yirchow, came to see the excavations. Dr. 
Virchow had careful measurements taken of this head, which 
he published shortly afterwards in his paper on the royal 
mummies. His conclusion is that the Hyksos monuments 
must be considered as representing Turanians, without being 
able to determine with which branch of this very large stock 
they must be connected. It was the same as the conclusion 
put forward in this country by Prof. Flower, who sees in the 
monuments of San a Mongoloid type. Turanians or Mongols, 
such is the racial origin attributed to the Hyksos by high 
authorities ; but that does not mean that the population itself 
was Turanian. The worship of Set Baal, the influence of the 
Hyksos invasion over the customs of Egypt, and especially 
over the language, points clearly to a Semitic element which 
was prevailing among the conquerors, though their kings, 
at least those who left us their portraits, were evidently not 
Semites. I believe, generally speaking, that too much im- 
portance has been given to the question of race ; too often 
sharp distinctions have been drawn between nations, or in the 
midst of one people, distinctions which were perhaps true 
originally, but which afterwards, if they were not quite oblit- 
erated, were only to be traced in political or social life. 
Kaces have become mixed and have amalgamated much earlier 
than we think. I said that I believed the Hyksos to be 
Mesopotamians. The researches of Assyriologists all agree 
that from a very early epoch the population of Babylonia con- 
sisted of several strata of populations having each a different 
origin. It was then what it is now; and I believe that 
the conquest of Egypt by the Hyksos is not unlike what 
would happen at the present day if the population of Meso- 
potamia overran the valley^ of the Nile ; you would have 
masses, in great majority of 'Semitic race, speaking a Semitic 
language, having a Semitic religion, and being under the 
command of Turks, who are not Semites but Turanians. 

I revert to the two Hyksos heads. The first, which was 
broken in the middle, is in the Boulak Museum ; it is of exactly 


the same type and proportions as that in the British 
Museum, but the face is not quite the same; it is evidently 
an older man; it has the advantage of having preserved the 
curve of the nose. If the two heads represent the same 
man at two different ages, the Boulak head was made the 
last. We took also to Boulak all that remains of the statue, 
the base, which turned out to have been split in two in the 
direction of the height, so that there is only one leg left. As 
for the statue of the British Museum, unfortunately it is not 
complete. Although last winter we left not an inch of ground 
unturned in the vicinity of the place where we had found the 
other fragments ; although we went to a great depth, we could 
not discover the only piece wanting, the upper part of the 
torso from the waist to the neck. Nevertheless, I have 
no hesitation in saying that such as it is the statue is one 
of the most precious Egyptian monuments which have been 
preserved. Allow me to recommend you to go to the British 
Museum to look at it. You will notice that the Hyksos 
artists, or at least the Egyptians who worked for the Hyksos, 
followed the traditions of the early sculptors who had portrait 
statues to make. The workmanship of the lower part of 
the body is much inferior to that of the upper part, and 
especially of the head. This fact is general in the statues of 
the Thirteenth dynasty, whether they have preserved their 
original name, like the Sebekhotep of Paris, or whether they 
have been usurped by Barneses II., like the statue of this king 
which I found at Bubastis, and which has been given to my 
native city. All the care of the artist has been bestowed on 
the head, all his skill has been devoted to making a likeness 
as good as possible. Consider attentively the face, look at 
the beautifully-modelled features, the special care which the 
artist has taken to reproduce all the characteristic signs of 
the race, the strongly-marked cheek-bones, the stout and 
projecting lips, the somewhat hollow cheeks, the fleshy cor- 
ners of the mouth; if you bear in mind that this has been cut 
in an extremely hard stone, you will agree with me that this 
head, regardless of its historical value, is a work of art, and 
even a masterpiece. 

But whose portrait is it ? which name are we to give to this 
statue ? There is no doubt that it represents a shepherd king, 
but has his cartouche been found anywhere on the monument ? 
Unfortunately not. The two statues which were near eaeh 
other at the entrance of the temple had both the cartouches 
of the king who raised them engraved on the throne along 
the legs. But they shared the common fate which befel so 
many interesting monuments; the names were cut out. 


Rameses II. when lie worked at Bubastis, finding that the two 
statues made a good effect, and that it was unnecessary to 
have new ones of such a large size, erased the name of the 
Hyksos king, and put his own instead. A long time after- 
wards, Osorkon I], treated Rameses II. in the same way as 
he had done his predecessor; he erased Rameses II., but not 
so completely that we may not discover a few signs, and he 
put his own on the base. What has completely disappeared 
is the name of the Hyksos king, which would be most interest- 
ing to us. Fortunately, in another part of the temple I 
discovered on a door-post a very large cartouche containing 
the name of Apepi, the same who had been found by Mariette 
at Tanis, with a fragment of inscription saying, that "he 
raised pillars in great number and bronze doors to this god," 
we do not know which. Quite recently, in the first hall not 
very far from the great statues, I discovered the first part of 
his name, what is called his standard. As Apepi was a power- 
ful king, though he was one of the last Hyksos, and as we 
know from the inscription that he raised important buildings 
at Bubastis, it is probable that it was he who erected the great 
statues, and that the fine head which is now at the British 
Museum is the portrait of Apepi. This interests us particu- 
larly, because the Byzantine chronographer, Syncellus, relates 
that Apepi was the king in whose reign Joseph rose to the 
high position described in Genesis. According to the Christian 
tradition, Apepi was the Pharaoh of Joseph. 

But we were not at the end of our surprises. Close 
to the block bearing the name of Apepi, there appeared one 
day the corner of a black granite stone, which, after being 
cleared, turned out to be the base of a sitting statue of natural 
size, but broken at the waist. The cartouches were intact ; the 
coronation name reads Userenra, which is not unknown, but 
the second Raian, or lan-Ra, was absolutely new. The style 
of the statue pointed to the Thirteenth or Fourteenth dynasty. 
When I afterwards showed the cartouche to a learned 
Mohammedan, Ahmed Effendi Kemal, the only Egyptian who 
can read hieroglyphics, he exclaimed at once : " You have 
found the king of Joseph " ; and when I answered that in my 
opinion it was Apepi, he explained to me, what I totally 
ignored, that, according to Arab books, the king of Joseph 
was an Amalekite, called Raian Ibn el Walid. I must say that 
I have no great faith in Arab traditions, and although at 
the time of the discovery my eminent countryman, Dr. Rieu, 
of the British Museum, wrote a letter in the Times, saying 
that he believed that there was some historical fact at the 
bottom of the Arab tradition, I am not quite convinced ; 


there are some details of the legend which shake one's con- 
fidence ; for instance, this fact, which is mentioned by one of 
the Arab authors, that Joseph converted the king to the 
faith of the Mohammedans. However, it is certainly a curious 
coincidence to have found at the same spot the two" kings who 
are considered as the protectors of Joseph, one by the 
Christians and the other by the Mohammedans. This valuable 
base, which is all that remains of Raian, is now in the Boulak 

Between the two traditions I incline to adopt that of 
the Christians, as reported by Synceilus, who adds that on 
this point the historians are unanimous. I know we have no 
Egyptian monumental evidence that it was so, but until the 
contrary is proved, I see no reason to question the statement 
of Synceilus. Apepi was the Pharaoh in whose reign 
Joseph became the powerful minister described by Scripture. 
I need not dwell at great length on this subject, which was laid 
before this society a few years ago in a learned paper by the 
Rev. H. G-. Tomkins. Let me only mention that Joseph was a 
purely civil officer, entrusted with the control and collection 
of revenue and of rents chiefly paid in kind. Such officers 
frequently occur in Egyptian inscriptions, or even in pictures, 
and they bear this telling title : " The Eyes and the Ears of 
the King." 

We saw that the Hyksos raised at Bubastis great con- 
structions, probably larger than at Tanis, the city which had 
been called their capital because of the monuments discovered 
there by Mariette. Bubastis was an important Hyksos 
settlement, and we have every reason to believe that the kings 
often stayed there ; that it was one of the places of resort of 
Apepi and the other kings. They were thus very near the 
land of Groshen. I think I have proved through the exca- 
vations which I made at a short distance from Zagazig, in 
1885, that the original land of Goshen was the region 
situate between the present city of Belbeis and Tel el 
Kebir, and that at the time when the Hebrews settled 
there it was not part of one of the provinces of Egypt. 
It was an uncultivated district, not divided among Egyp- 
tian inhabitants regularly settled and governed, a kind of 
waste land sufficiently watered to produce good pasturage, 
and which might be assigned to foreigners without despoiling 
the native inhabitants. This agrees with the information 
given by the two most ancient Arab translators of the Bible, 
Saadiah and Aboo Said. I believe even that there is an allu- 
sion to it in an Egyptian inscription of the time of Menephtah, 
the king of the Exodus, in which it is said that <e the country 


near Bailos (Belbeis) was not cultivated, but left as pasture 
for cattle because of the strangers." Thus there was only 
a short distance between the royal residence and the territory 
allotted to the Hebrews. Joseph settled his family near him- 
self, in the. part of the country which was best fitted for the 
breeding of cattle, and where probably dwelt the herds of the 
king, with the keeping of which they were entrusted. 

But the Hyksos domination was drawing towards its close, 
and it is likely that Apepi was the last of the foreign rulers. 
We have only very scanty information on the wars which 
broke out between the native princes who had maintained 
themselves in Upper Egypt and the foreign invaders. In 
spite of the successes of the kings of the Seventeenth 
dynasty, Sekenen - Ra and Amosis, the expulsion of the 
Hyksos and the restoration of the Egyptian rule over the 
Delta took place only gradually. A queen of the Eighteenth 
dynasty alludes in one of her inscriptions to the harm done 
to the country by the strangers, and which she endeavoured 
to repair. An alleged proof of the fact that the Egyptian 
dominion was not yet regularly re-established was the supposed 
total absence of monuments of the Eighteenth dynasty in the 
Delta. Until now there was only one known, a stone serpent 
found at Benha, or a few scarabs of Amenophis III. dug out 
by the fellaheen at Tel Basta. The desire to settle, if possible, 
the question of the presence of the Eighteenth dynasty in 
the Delta, was one of the chief reasons which induced me to 
dig at Bubastis ; and in this respect my expectation has not 
been disappointed ; we have discovered important monuments 
of the Eighteenth dynasty at Tel Basta. Last summer, also, 
the fellaheen came across a large tablet of the same dynasty 
at Samanood, further north. In both places the monuments 
are later than Thothmes III. It seems very probable that 
the final conquest of the Delta, and the complete expulsion of 
the Hyksos, dates from the great wars of Thothmes III., justly 
called " the great," or sometimes the Alexander of Egypt. 
His campaigns had lasting results, not only in Egypt, but 
also abroad, as we know now from the curious find of cunei- 
form tablets made by the Arabs at Tel el Amarna last year, 
that under the successors of Thothmes III. a great many Syrian 
cities were still tributary to Egypt, and had Egyptian 
governors. The most ancient mention of a king of the Eigh- 
teenth dynasty, at Bubastis, is on a stone of Amenophis II., 
who is sculptured standing before Amon Ra and making him 
offerings. We notice here, as under the following kings, that 
the chief divinity of the place is not Bast, but Amon. The 
king of the Eighteenth dynasty, who seems to have taken the 


greatest interest in Bubastis, is Amenophis III. We dis- 
covered four monuments of the reign of this king : two of 
them are statues of the same man ; unfortunately they are 
both headless. They are unequal in workmanship ; one of 
them, the largest and the finest, is in the Boulak Museum ; 
the other is in London. They both represent a man sitting 
with crossed legs, and who unrolls on his knees a papyrus, 
on which is written his title and his employment. The man 
was ' ' prince of the first order, a friend loving his lord, chief of 
the works of his king in the provinces of the marsh land of the 
North, the chancellor and city governor, Amenophis." The 
name of his king is found on the back ; the braces which sup- 
port his garment are tied together by a brooch, on which is 
engraved the name of Amenophis III. ; another statue has it 
engraved on the shoulder, as has also a very graceful torso of 
a woman, which was part of a double group of a priest and 
priestess. Thus the Eighteenth dynasty is well represented 
at Bubastis, its high officers and priests put their images in 
the temple. Even the heretical King Amenophis IV., or 
Khuenaten, who endeavoured to destroy the worship of 
Amon, desired his name to be at Bubastis. On a stone, 
usurped afterwards by Raineses II., we read the name of his 
god, his one cartouche having been erased. 

In what state did the Eighteenth dynasty find the temple 
of Bubastis ? Had it been ruined by the Hyksos ? Not 
likely ; on the contrary, we have seen that Apepi raised there, 
as he says, pillars in great numbers and bronze doors. If 
it did not suffer in the wars between the Hyksos and the 
Theban princes, the temple must have been standing and 
even of a remarkable beauty when the contemporaries of 
Amenophis III. put their statues in its halls. 

Seti I., the second king of the Nineteenth dynasty, and 
the father of Rameses II., inscribed on the stone of 
Amenophis II. that " he renewed the abode of his father 
Amon." He seems to have made some repairs to the temple. 
But with his son Rameses II. we reach a period of great 
changes, which consisted chiefly in usurpations. There is no 
name which occurs so frequently in the ruins of the first three 
halls, which up to the Thirtieth dynasty constituted the 
whole building. As is the case in Tanis, the local divinity 
seems to have occupied only a secondary rank ; all the prin- 
cipal offerings or acts of worship take place before the great 
gods of Egypt, Amon, Phthah, called Phthah of Rameses, 
and chiefly Set, the god of the Hyksos, who had the most 

Cminent place. Enormous architraves in the second hall 
r dedications to Set; elsewhere he is styled Set of 


Rameses, and his face was engraved on ail the palm-capital 
columns, where it was afterwards transformed to Mahes. 
Nevertheless, Bast appears sometimes in the inscriptions of 
Eameses II., for instance, on a great tablet, of which we 
found only a part, and which is a dialogue between the king 
and the goddess, who makes his eulogy in words like the fol- 
lowing : " I take in my hand the timbrel, and I celebrate thy 
coming forth, for thou hast multiplied the sacred things 
millions of times." There is no question that Rameses II. 
worked much in Bubastis, but in the way which best illus- 
trates his personal character and the tendency of all his acts. 
An extraordinary vanity and self-conceit, a violent desire to 
dazzle his contemporaries by his display, and posterity by the 
immense number of constructions bearing his name, seems to 
have been the ruling power of his conduct during his long 
reign. In the second hall of Bubastis there are many colossal 
architraves where his cartouche is engraved in letters several 
feet high, but there is not one of them where an older inscrip- 
tion has not been cut out sometimes the old signs are still 
visible. In one instance, very likely because something con- 
cealed the end of the stone, the workman did not take the 
trouble to erase completely, and at the end of the cartouche of 
Rameses II. appear the first letters of the name of User- 
tesen III. of the Twelfth dynasty. 

There is no doubt that Bubastis was a place for which 
Rameses felt a special liking ; he was anxious that the whole 
temple should appear as built by himself, from the great 
statues of Apepi at the entrance to the columns of the hypo- 
style hall at the western side. I do not believe that there is 
any other temple with so many statues bearing the name of 
Rameses II. as Bubastis. Undoubtedly they have not all 
been made for him ; two of the finest which we discovered, 
both in black granite, were certainly not his portrait. One of 
them, which is complete, has been given to the Museum of 
Geneva ; the head of the other, a fine piece of art, has gone to 
Sydney; none of them has any likeness to the well-known type 
of Rameses ; they are kings of the Thirteenth or Fourteenth 
dynasty. Besides those statues, there were a great number in 
red granite, of various proportions, and standing in different 
parts of the building, which have merely an ornamental pur- 
pose ; we are not to look for portraits on any of them. I 
spoke before of the four statues with crisp hair, one of which 
is in the British Museum. Another, now at Boulak, wears 
a fine head-dress called the atef, two feathers resting on the 
horns of a ram. There were also groups representing the 
king sitting with one or two gods ; groups of that kind were 


often put outside the entrance on each side of the road. 
Generally speaking, it is near the entrances that the statues 
were more abundant. A great many disappeared already in old 
times, or were broken in the destruction of the temple, which 
must have taken place between the Eamessides and the 
Bubastites ; a large number of them were employed by Osor- 
kon I. and Osorkon II. as building material when they repaired 
the temple. 

The more we study the remains of Bubastis, the more we 
are convinced that the place must have been one of the 
favourite resorts of Rameses II., where he stayed repeatedly. 
Bubastis and Tanis were the two great cities of the 
Delta, and no doubt the court came frequently to both. 
Rameses was accompanied by his sons ; one of them, Khae- 
muas, who had a high rank in the priesthood, and who was 
inspector of the temples, has recorded his visit to Bubastis on 
a statue of his father. We found also mention of two 
others who had military commands. One, whose statue is in 
Boston, was "first cavalry officer of his father, the chief of 
the horse of his majesty, Menthuhershopshef ; " the other, 
Menephtah, who became the king of the Exodus, was at that 
time a general of infantry, and he appears several times on 
sculptures making offerings to the god Amon. 

Not far from Bubastis was a foreign nation, which from a 
small tribe had grown to be a large multitude, and which had 
never amalgamated with the Egyptians. I have already alluded 
before to the vicinity of the land of Goshen, only a few miles 
distant ; but the restricted limits of the original land had been 
broken through, and the Israelites must have spread in the south 
towards Heliopolis, and in the East in the Wadi Tumilat, the 
road through which foreign invaders would enter Egypt. One 
may well conceive that Rameses who, in spite of his outward 
show, must have felt how much his kingdom was weakened, 
grew rather anxious at the presence of a great number of 
strangers occupying the very gate of Egypt, and that he 
desired to turn their presence to a benefit for Egypt. There- 
fore he employed them to build fortresses destined to protect 
the land against invaders. The Exodus describes in the fol- 
lowing way the fear which took hold of the king : " And he 
said unto his people : Behold, the people of Israel are more 
and mightier than we : come let us deal wisely with them ; 
lest they multiply, and it come to pass that, when there 
falleth out any war, they also join themselves unto our 
enemies, and fight against us, and get them up out of the land. 
Therefore, they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them 
with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh store cities, 


Pithom and Raamses" (Exodus i. 9-11). It was the 
result of my first campaign of excavation to discover the 
site of Pithom, not very far from the present city of Ismai- 
liah ; Eaamses is not yet known ; it is very likely between 
Pithom and Bubastis in the Wadi Tumilat. I cannot dwell 
at great length here on the events of the Exodus; yet I should 
like to mention that the successive discoveries made in the 
Delta have had the result of making the sacred narrative 
more comprehensible in many points, and especially in 
showing that the distances were much shorter than was 
generally thought. For instance, I consider it important to 
have established that Bubastis was a very large city and a 
favourite resort of the king and his family. It ia quite pos- 
sible that at the time when the events preceding the exodus 
took place, the king was at Bubastis, not at Tanis, as we 
generally believed. 

Menephtah, the king of the Exodus, who is represented as 
general of infantry, also executed statues in the temple after 
he became king, but they are very much broken. 

The Twentieth dynasty, the dynasty of the Ramessides, 
whose kings all bear the name of Rameses, is also represented 
at Bubastis. It is natural that the most powerful of them, 
Rameses III., should not be absent; but what is more 
interesting, we met with one of the later ones, who was 
thought to be an idle prince reigning only nominally, and en- 
tirely in the hands of his vizier, the high priest of Amon. For 
the first time monuments of Rameses VI. have been discovered 
in the Delta, showing that the power of the king still extended 
over the two parts of the country. I found three statues of 
this king : one of red granite of heroic size, standing, has been 
removed to the Boulak Museum ; another, in black granite, is 
headless and is still on the spot. The kings of the Twentieth 
dynasty seem to have erected a construction of their own in 
the western part of the temple, a kind of entrance to the hypo- 
style hall. 

After them, in the obscure period of the Twenty-first 
dynasty, the temple must have gone through great vicissitudes; 
I believe that for some reason which we do not know, perhaps 
in some war or rebellion of which no record has been left, it 
was destroyed and partly ruined. I said before that in my 
opinion the beautiful Hathor capitals of the hypostyle hall 
must be attributed to a period much more ancient than the 
Twenty-second dynasty. Several of these capitals have under- 
neath, on the part which rested on the square pillow, a dedication 
to Bast, written by Osorkon I., a king of the Twenty-second 
dynasty. This dedication was not visible, and could not be 


read, but it is a lasting record of the fact that Osorkon I. 
had done some work in connexion with these capitals. In the 
same way also Rameses II. put his name under the base of the 
obelisks he erected, in order that his memory should not perish 
altogether in case one of his successors should erase all the 
visible inscriptions of the sides. In my opinion, the inscrip- 
tion of Osorkon I. records, not that the king had these capitals 
sculptured, but that he raised them a second time, and he could 
not have done it if they had been standing, while if they were 
overthrown, and the temple was more or less in ruin, the fact 
is easily to be explained. 

The Twenty-second dynasty is called by Manetho the 
dynasty of the Bubastites. It is most likely that these kings 
were strangers of Libyan origin ; their family had the here- 
ditary command of the guard of Libyan mercenaries, called 
the Ma or the Mashooash ; and it is natural to suppose that 
it was with the aid of his foreign troops that Shishak, the 
first of the Bubastite rulers, succeeded in ascending the throne 
of Egypt. Shishak is well known as the successful enemy of 
Rehoboam ; he conquered Jerusalem and pillaged its temples ; 
he made great constructions at Thebes, but he does not seem 
to have done anything in what is considered as his native 
city. His name has been found only on a small fragment of 
limestone. The first king of the Bubastites who adorned the 
temple with fine sculptures is a king who was little known 
until now, Osorkon I. As I said before, very likely the 
temple was in ruins in his time; he rebuilt it, or at least he 
began doing so ; he raised again the beautiful Hathor capitals, 
and went to work in the first hall, building up the walls and 
covering them with finely-carved sculptures, for which he used 
the material already on the spot, as one may judge from 
blocks engraved on both sides ; which under Rameses II. were 
part of the basement, while under Osorkon I. they were at a 
certain height in the wall. I believe it was in his reign that a 
change took place in the dedication of the temple. Instead 
of being a place of worship for the great gods of Egypt, and 
chiefly for Set, of whom Rameses II. seems to have been a 
fervent adorer, it became the temple of Bast, the lion or cat- 
headed goddess, with her accompanying gods, Mahes or 
Nefertum, called her son, and Horheken, a special kind of 
Horus. I should think also that the religious custom of 
keeping cats in the temple and of burying them in 
holy ground dates from his reign. There is a considerable 
space in the mound of Tel Basta, which is nothing but a ceme- 
tery of cats, rectangular pits made of raw bricks, which are full 
of the bones of these animals, among which some bronzes have 


been thrown, representing either cats or the god Nefertum, a 
god with a human form wearing as headdress a lotus-flower, 
over which are two feathers. The cemetery of cats has been 
known for many years to the fellaheen, who dug it out en- 
tirely, and supplied the dealers in Cairo with the bronze cats 
which fill their shops. I attempted this year an excavation 
in the cemetery ; I was obliged to go very deep, as all the 
upper pits have been rifled ; under such circumstances the 
digging is very ungrateful business, as the water and 
the salt have nearly destroyed the bronzes. I emptied 
several pits entirely full of bones, which are quite cal- 
cined, as they are the residue of bodies burnt in furnaces 
still visible close to the pits. It is incredible what an 
immense number of cats must have been burnt, judging 
from the number and the size of the pits. After many 
difficulties we succeeded in rescuing a few skulls, which are 
now in the hands of the illustrious naturalist, Dr. Virchow, 
of Berlin. It is very likely that the holy cat of Bubastis was 
not the ordinary domestic cat, but some larger animal of the 
feline tribe, either the wild cat or a kind of lynx. 

Under Osorkon I. Egypt was not an impoverished country ; 
we may judge of it from inscriptions which are unfortunately 
in a very bad state, but which are due to Osorkon I. Hero- 
dotus says that about three furlongs from the great temple, 
towards the east, is the temple of Hermes. I found the 
remains of it, a few scattered blocks in a clover-field, at a 
short distance out of the tell. I dug there several days ; there 
is very little left : a large architrave, with a cartouche of 
Rameses II., and a great many fragments all bearing the name 
of Osorkon I. There are fragments of a large size, belonging 
to a long inscription, in which Osorkon I. relates the weights of 
silver and of asem (silver gilt) which he gave to several temples; 
and the large quantities which he mentions remind one of the 
considerable offerings made to the religious establishments in 
the time of the great prosperity of Egypt. I believe that this 
second temple was the treasury of the other, and that being, 
as were all treasuries and libraries, under the protection of 
Hermes Thoth, it was taken by Herodotus for a temple of 

Osorkon I. did not finish the rebuilding of the temple, and 
it was Osorkon II. who completed it, and who worked chiefly 
in the second hall. This part of the building seems to have 
suffered most grievously in the destruction which I presume 
to have taken place before the accession of the Bubastites to 
the throne of Egypt. When we began rolling the blocks of 
the enormous heap which marked the site of the hall, nearly 


every one of them was found to be a fragment of a statue, or 
of a group which had been cut up, sometimes partly erased 
and afterwards walled in ; one of the sides being flattened in 
order to engrave on it the sculptures of Osorkon II. Most of 
these fragments bear the name of Barneses II. Sometimes 
the remains of the old statue are in a fair state of preservation, 
such as, for instance, the block which has been given to the 
Museum of Liverpool, where there is on one side a very good 
head of Rameses ; on the other, a sculpture of the sacred boat 
in which the emblem of Amon was carried ; the piece of statue 
was used simply as building material, for when it was walled 
in, the head was turned upside down. Sometimes also we 
come across the feet of a colossal statue ; on the base, what 
would be under the feet, if the statue were standing, there are 
sculptures of Osorkon. I do not believe all this wanton 
destruction was done by Osorkon intentionally ; although he 
usurped a good number of the cartouches of Rameses, I cannot 
fancy that it was he who broke such a great number of statues, 
while he respected others bearing also the name of Rameses. 
I presume that the Bubastites found the temple in a state of 
ruin, and that they made use of what they found on the spot, 
leaving intact the statues which had not suffered any damage, 
and taking what was broken for their building, instead of 
fetching granite blocks all the way from Assooan. Osorkon 
II. was also a king very little known. I had already discovered 
some constructions of his at Pithom. At Bubastis he recorded 
one of the principal events of his life, a great festival given 
in the temple in the 22nd year of his reign, on the 1st 
of the month of Choiak. It is extraordinary that the 
festival is not given in the honour of Bast, but of Amon. 
It is evidently an old tradition which Osorkon had to 
follow, something which "took place since the days of 
his father," as he says in the inscription. It was very 
likely for the purpose of this festival that he re-built the 
second hall to which he gave the name of the " festive hall." 
The walls are covered with sculptures representing the scenes 
of the festival ; unfortunately, although every block on which 
there was an inscription or a sculpture has been stamped or 
photographed, it will never be possible to make a connected 
description of it. The king is generally represented as a god ; 
he sits in a sanctuary, the goddess Bast is standing before 
him, or he has with him his queen, Karoama, as may be seen 
on a large sculpture now in the British Museum. Sometimes 
they are accompanied by three of their daughters, whose 
names are given. The gods of Egypt are supposed to be 
present at the festival, and there are long series of them 


standing each in his shrine. The priests, of whom there 
are a great variety, carry offerings of fishes and birds, 
vases, very likely of precious inetals, or sacred standards. 
Sometimes they seem to execute dances, sometimes they lie 
quite flat on the ground, sometimes also they are accom- 
panied by ugly dwarfs. The emblem of Amon is in his sacred 
boat, and is carried on the shoulders of the priests, and the 
king himself is sometimes borne on a litter. It is not im- 
possible that this great festival, which, as I said, was based 
on an old tradition, had something to do with the calendar. 
Though he celebrated it in honour of Amon, Osorkon II., who 
in his cartouche calls himself the son of Bast, completed the 
dedication of the temple to the goddess; it was he who 
erased the name of Set, where it was still visible, and replaced 
it by Mahes, as it is seen on several of the columns. He had 
also a great desire to inscribe his name as often as possible, 
for it is met with nearly as often as Rameses II. 

I do not insist on monuments of small importance of the 
Twenty-fourth and the Twenty-sixth dynasties. The most 
western hall, and the largest, was built by the first king of 
the Thirtieth dynasty, Nekhthorheb, the last king of the 
last native dynasty. In spite of the long wars which they 
had to wage against the Persians, the princes of the Thirtieth 
dynasty, said to be Sebennytes, have left us very large and 
important constructions, especially in the Delta. They seem 
to have taken as the object of their imitation the kings of the 
Twelfth dynasty ; under their reign there is a revival of 
Egyptian art which is quite marvellous, and they have left us 
monuments which can be compared only to the works of the 
best period. The decoration of the western hall was not 
finished, but, in order to show that it was to Bast that it was 
dedicated, Nekhthorheb changed his cartouche, and, instead 
of calling himself son' of Isis, as everywhere else, he is styled 
son of Bast. The most beautiful part of the hall was the 
shrine of red granite, which was at the end. Three fragments 
of it are now in the British Museum ; the religious sculptures 
which cover them are of the most exquisite workmanship, 
and were worthy of the beautiful temple in which the shrine 
was deposited. 

If we add to this long catalogue of monuments two Greek 
inscriptions referring to statues being erected by two higher 
officials of the time of Ptolemy Epiphanes, we shall have 
reached the lower limit of the period over which extend the 
annals of Bubastis, such as we recovered them in the excava- 
tions. We are able now to trace some of the principal events 
in the history of the city and the country during 3,500 years, 


from Cheops down to the Macedonian kings, and we have found 
inscribed on statues or on the walls of the temple the names 
of twenty-six kings, one of whom, one Raian or lan-ra, was 
absolutely unknown; besides, we have now in several museums 
monuments of great value, some of which, like the large statue 
of Apepi in the British Museum, are quite unique. 

Such is the net result of a work of about six months on a 
spot which was thought to be absolutely exhausted, and where 
nothing was said to remain. This instance shows how many 
treasures lie still hidden in the soil of Egypt ; there are even 
large historical cities where no serious exploration has ever 
been made. It is dangerous to play the prophet in matters of 
excavation ; but who knows what may be concealed in many 
mounds of the Delta or of Upper Egypt, which it would be 
easy to name ? There are still great gaps in the history of 
Egypt, which we hope to fill up some day, and the work of 
excavation is far from being closed. I trust that in relating 
what has been done at Bubastis I may have kindled in 
your minds a desire that more should be done in that way ; 
and I beg to be allowed to warmly recommend to your 
interest and to your practical support the work of Egyptian 


THE great meeting of the Victoria Institute at which M. Naville 
read his paper, was held July 5, 1889. The paper was illustrated 
by the author's photographs, shown by limelight ; at its con- 
clusion : 

The PRESIDENT (Sir George G. Stokes, Bart., M.P., P.R.S.) said : 
I have now to ask you to return your thanks to Monsieur Naville 
for his most interesting paper, although yon may be said to have 
already returned them by anticipation in the applause with which 
the paper has been received from its opening to its conclusion. 

M. NAVILLE expressed his thanks for his cordial reception and the 
way in which his paper had been received. 

Sir CHARLES T. NEWTON, K.C.B., U.C.L., heartily congratulated 
M. Naville on the splendid results of his labours ; for himself he 
sought to support Egyptian exploration and the Egyptian Explora- 
tion Fund with all the influence he possessed. 

Mr. REGINALD STUART POOLE, LL.D. (British Museum), said he 
was extremely gratified at being invited to listen to the most 
learned and cautious paper he had ever heard from a discoverer. 
M. Naville's great merit was that he never took one beyond the 
point to which he himself could safely go, and whenever he had 
differed from him he had felt perfectly sure that he was wrong and 
M. Naville right. 

Mr. T. H. BAYLIS, Q.C., spoke of the importance of Egyptian 
exploration, and Mr. W. ST. C. BOSCAWEN added some remarks. 

After a letter from Major CONDER, R.E., had been read, in which 
he drew attention to the important light M. Naville's researches 
threw on enr knowledge of the history of the ancient peoples of 
the East. 

The President, members, and their guests adjourned to the 
Museum, where refreshments were served. 

C|c iicto'a Institute, 

|)j)ilos0pj)ital j?oneln of real i 


Correspondence (including communications from intending Members 
or Associates, &c.) to be addressed to " The Secretary." 


rpHIS SOCIETY has been founded for the purpose of promoting the following 
-i- Objects, which will be admitted by all to be of high importance both to 
Religion and Science : 

First. To investigate fully and impartially the most important questions of 
Philosophy and Science, but more especially those that bear upon the great 
truths revealed in Holy Scripture ; with the view of reconciling any 
apparent discrepancy between Christianity and Science. 

Second. To associate MEN OF SCIENCE and AUTHORS* who have already 
been engaged in such investigations, and all others who may be interested 
in them, in order to strengthen their efforts by association ; and by bringing 
together the results of such labours, after full discussion, in the printed 
Transactions of an Institution, to give greater force and influence to proofs 
and arguments which might be little known, or even disregarded, if put 
forward merely by individuals. 

Third. To consider the mutual bearings of the various scientific conclusions 
arrived at in the several distinct branches into which Science is now 
divided, in order to get rid of contradictions and conflicting hypotheses, and 
thus promote the real advancement of true Science ; and to examine and 
discuss all supposed scientific results with reference to final causes, and the 
more comprehensive and fundamental principles of Philosophy proper, based 
upon faith in the existence of one Eternal God, who in His wisdom created 
all things very good. 

Special advantages are secured to Country and Colonial Members and 
Associates in the Journal of Transactions. 

The Journal of Transactions 
Contains the Papers read at the Meetings and the Discussions thereon. 

Before these are published in the Journal, hoth are finally submitted to 
their Authors for any revision, and MS. comments and supplementary remarks 
are added, which have been sent in by such British, American, and other 
Members to whom, as being specially qualified to contribute information 
upon the respective subjects, proof copies of the Papers had been submitted 
for consideration the authors of Papers adding their final comments. These 
arrangements, which are found to add greatly to the value of the Journal, are 
cnrried out with a view to securing the special usefulness of the Journal to 
all, whether home or Non-resident Members or Associates ; these thus 
find in the Journal much valuable matter, and often much (contributed by men 
of learning in all parts of the world) in addition to that which had come before 
ihose actually present at the Meetings. (The Journal is sent post-free.) 

* The Society now consists of 1.20O Subscribers (about one-third of whom 
are Foreign Members) ; including Literary and Scientific Men and others 
favourable to the Objects. (The present average annual increase is upwards 
of a hundred.) 


Sir GEORGE GABRIEL STOKES, Bart., D.C.L., M.P., Pres. of the Royal Society. 


Sir H. BARELY, K.C.B., G.C.M.G., F.R.S. 

W. FORSYTE, Esq., Q.C., LL.D. 
A. Me ARTHUR, Esq., M.P. 

Correspondent Members. 

Professor L. PASTEUR, F.R.S., Paris. \ Sir J. W. DAWSON, K.C.M.G., F.R.S. 

Prof. MASPEBO. | H. RASSAM, Esq. | Prof. A. H. SAYCE. | M. E. NAVILLE. | Count D'HULST. 
The Council (24 Members). Professor ALLBYNB-NICHOLSON, F.K.S.E. Revs. W. ARTHUR and 


BATSMAN, F.E.S., F.K.S.E. Captain CREAK, F.R.S. Dr. GUNNING, F.R.S.E., F.R.C.8.E. 

Surg.-Gen. GORDON, C.B. Dr. F. B. HAWKINS, F.R.S. D. HOWARD, Esq., V. Pres. Chem.Soc., 

Pres. S.C.I., &c.&c. 

Trustees. Sir ROBERT N. FOWLER, Bart., M.P. ; R. BAXTER, Esq. 
Son. Auditors. G. CRAWFORD HARRISON, Esq. ; J. ALLEN, Esq. 

Honorary Treasurer. WILLIAM No WELL WEST, Esq. 
lion. Sec. and Editor of Journal. Captain Francis W. H. PETRIE, F.G.S., &c. 


Intending Members and Associates are requested to address " The Secretary." 

The Annual Subscription for Members is Two Guineas, with One Guinea 
Entrance Fee (see privileges). The Annual Subscription for Associates is One 
Guinea, without Entrance Fee. (All receive the Journal post free.) 

In lieu of Annual Subscription, the payment of Twenty Guineas (without 
Entrance Fee) will constitute a Life Member, or Ten Guineas a Life Associate. 

The payment of a Donation of not less than Sixty Guineas qualifies for the office 
of Vice-Patron, with all the privileges of &Life Member or Life Associate. 

[It is to be understood, that only such as are professedly Christians are entitled 
to become Members.] 

*** Subscriptions are payable to the " VICTORIA INSTITUTE'S " credit at 
" Ransom's Bank," 1, Pall Mall East, S.W., or may be remitted to the Secretary, 
nt the Office. Cheques or Post Office Orders (on General Post Office) should be 
made payable to " Victoria Institute or order," and crossed " Ransom & Co." 


MEMBERS on election, are presented with any Volume of the First or Second 
Series of the Journal of the Transactions, and ARE ENTITLED to a Copy of the Journal, 
either in the Quarterly Parts, or the Annual (bound) Volume, 'or the years during 
which they may subscribe, and to a copy of any other documents or books which may be 
published under the auspices of the Society, and, on application, to a copy of every paper 
re-published in the "People's Edition" ; to the use of the Library (Books can be sent to the 
country), Reading and Writing Rooms (affording many of the conveniences of a Club) ; and 
to introduce two Visitors at each Meeting. The Council are chosen from among the 
Members, who alone are eligible to vote by ballot in determining any question at 
a General Meeting. Members are farther privileged to ootain any Volumes, other 
t ban that chosen, of the Transactions issued prior to their joining the Institute at half-price 
(lialf-a-guinea each), or any Quarterly Parts for past years at half-a-crown each. 

The Library, Reading and Writing Rooms are open, for the use of the 
Members only, from ten till five (Saturdays till two). The Institute 
exchanges Transactions with the Royal Society and many other 
leading English and Foreign Scientific bodies, whose Transactions 
are therefore added to the Library. 

ASSOCIATES ARE ENTITLED, to the Journal, in Quarterly Parts or in the Annual Volume, 
for the years during which they may subscribe ; to obtain the earlier Volumes or Parts 
at a reduced price ; and to introduce one Visitor at each Meeting. 

Members and Associates have the right to be present at all Meetings of the Society. 

The Meetings, of which due notice is given, are held at Adelphi Terrace, at Eigbt 
o'clock on the evenings of the First and Third Mondays of the Winter, Spring, and Summer 
Months. Proof Copies of the Papers to be read can be had by those desirous of placing their 
opinions thereon before the Members (when unable to attend, they can do this in writing). 

Members and Associates on 1st January, 1871, 203. Joined since : In 1871, 
91 ; 1872, 109 ; 1873, 110 ; 1874, 111 ; 1875, 115 ; 1876, 107 ; 1877, 
100; 1878, 101; 1879, 105;-1880, 104; 1881, 122; 1882, 122 ; 1883, 
126 ; 1884, 109 ; 1885, 110 ; 1886, 101 ; 1887, Foreign, 47 ; Home, 62 
109; 1888, Home and Foreign, 149. 

<5i C 

1 S 


s 2 5 


O eg* 



8 J B 


^ H 

fa " 

fe A* f 

2 ^~~^ 




03 O 2 


S iS 45 

03 ts 
1 'S 

' |q 

4 *'|' | 

h F 

g 2 

^ W -SS t> 



, g'i 



or Associates of the 

/ hereby desire to be enrolled a 
* Here insert whether as Vice-Patron, Mei 

Candidate's ordinary Signature, ^ 
and full name, if necessary. \ _ 

Title, Profession, University degree, ( ~ 
fyc.y or other distinction. \ 


lyan, Author, the name of the Can- ( ' 
didate's works may be here stated. ( 

The Honorary Secretary of the Vic 
1 A, Adelphi Terrace, Strand, Lor 



69. On Misrepresentations of Christianity. By Lord O'NEILL (the late). 

Science not Opposed to Revelation. By J. L. PORTER, D.D., LL.D. (the late). 

70. Recent Egyptological Research in its Biblical Relation. By the Rev. H. G. TOMKINS. 
Cuneiform Inscriptions as illustrative of the times of the Jewish Captivity. By W. ST. 

Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon On Recently Discovered Inscriptions of this King. By 

E. A. BUDGE, M.A., M.R.A.S. 
Buddhism. By Rev. R. COLLINS. Remarks by Dr. LEITNER (Lahore), Professor RHYS 

DAVIDS, Mr. RASSAM, Rev. S. COLES (Ceylon), &c. Also a Full Note on Krishna. 
71 Pessimism. By (the late) W. P. JAMES, Esq. 

On the Prehistoric Factory of Flints at Spiennes. By Rev. J. MAGENS MELLO, F.G.S. 
The Evolution of the Pearly Nautilus. By S. R. PATTISON, Esq., F.G.S. 
72. On "Prehistoric Man in Egypt and the Lebanon." By Sir J. W. DAWSON, K.C.M.G., 

F.R.S., McGill University, Montreal. Remarks by Sr WARINQTON W. SMYTH, F.R.S., 




73 /On the Inductive Logic. By Prof. R. L. DABNEY, D.D., LL.D. Speeches by Sir H. 
f BARKLY, X.C.B., G.C.M.G , F.R.S., Sir J. LEFROY, K.C.M.G., F.R.S., &c. 
On Evolution by Natural Selection. J. HASSELL, Esq. 
Remarks on Evolution by Professor VIRCHOW. 

| On the Recency of the Close of the Glacial Epoch. By D. MACKINTOSH, Esq., F.G.S. 
74, I Communications from Prof. T. RUPERT JONES, F.R.S., and others. 

\0n the recession of Niagara (with the United States Government Survey Diagrams). 


'On the Religion of the Aboriginal Tribes of India. By Professor J. A VERY. Remarks by 

General HAIG, Mr. H. RASSAM, and others. 

On the Evolution of Savages by Degradation. Rev. F. A. ALLEN, M.A. 
Some Thoughts on the Evolution of Religions. By Rev. W. R. BLACK ETT, M.A. 
On the Relation of Fossil Botany to Theories of Evolution. By late W. P. JAMES, F.L.S. 
Remarks by Sir R. OWEN, F.R.S., Prof. W. CARUUTHERS, F.R.S., Dr. J. BRAXTON 
HICKS, F.R.S., &c. 
75. , Was Primeval Man a Savage? By J. HASSKLL, Esq. 

Remarks on Evolution and Development. By Rev. J. WHITE, M.A. 
On Some Characteristics of Primitive Religions. By Rev. R. COLLINS, M.A. 
' Human Responsibility. By Rev. G. BLENCOWE. 
7 On the Worship and Traditions of the Aborigines of America. By Rev. M. EELLS, M.A. 

Remarks by Professor J. 0. DOUSE Y, U.S. Survey. 
Note on Comparative Religions. 


Special Address by the Institute's President, Sir G. G. STOKES, Bart., M.A., D.C.L., 

President of the Royal Society. 
E;ypt: Physical, Historical, Literary, and Social. By J. LESLIE PORTER, D.D.,D.C.L., 

(the late). Remarks by the Earl of BELMORE, Right Hon. A. S. AYRTON (the late), &c. 
On the Theory of Natural Selection and the Theory of Design, By Professor DUNS, D.D., 

F.R.S.E. Remarks by Right Hon. Lord GRIMTUORPE, &c. 
On Agnosticism. By J. HASSELL. Esq. 

On the Structure of the Gorilla. By K CHARLESWORTH, Esq., F.G.S. ; with illustration. 
Notes on the Antiquity of Man. By the EDITOR. The Chronology of Animal Life on the 

Earth priorto the Advent of Man. By Sir J. WILLIAM DAWSON, K.C.M.G., F.R.S., 

President of the British Association. 
Historical Evidences of the Migration of Abram. By W. ST. C. BOSCAWEN, F.R.Hist.Soc., 

with drawings. Notes oy Professor SAYCE, E. A. W. BUDGE, Esq., &c. 
A Sarooan Tradition of Creation. Rev. T. POWELL, F.L.S. (the late) ; Notes on the Islands. 
The Fundamental Assumptions of Agnosticism. By Rev. H. J. CLARKE. 
On Miracles. By Rev. H. C. M. WATSON. Remarks by Lord GRIMTHORPK, &c. 
On Accounts of the Creation. By W. P. JAMES, Esq., F.L.S. (the late). 
On Final Cause. By Professor R. L. DABNEY, D.D., LL.D. 
On Structure and Structureless. By Prof. LIONEL S. BEALE, M.B., F.R.S. 
On the Meteorology of Syria and Palestine. By Professor G. E. POST, F.L.S. (with chart). 

Remarks by Sir JOSEPH FAYRER, K. C.S.I., F.R.S., &c. 
On the Geographical Names on the List of Thothmes III. By Professor G. MASPERO 

(with map). Remarks by Sir CHARLES WILSON, K.C.B., K.C.M.G., F.R.S., Major 

C. R. CONDER, R.E., Dr. WRIQHT, &c. Note on Excavations round the Sphinx. By 


VOL. XXL 1887-8. 

81. Results of an Expedition to Arabia Petrsea and Palestine (with chart). By Proicssor E. 

HULL, F.R.S., Director of the Geological Survey of Ireland. 

Jewish, Phoenician, and Early Greek Art. By Rev. J. LESL IE PORTER, D.C.L. (the late). 
8.\ The Discoveries at Sidon. 

The Empire of the Hittites. By Rev. W. WRIGHT, D.D. Note on the Hittites. 

Canaan, Ancient and Modern. By Professor TRISTRAM, F.R.S. 

On Caves. By Professor T. McK. HUGHES, F.R.S. (Cambridge), with comments by Sir 

J. W. DAWSON, K.C.M.G., F.R.S., Sir WARINGTON W. SMYTH, F.R.S., and others. 
Oriental Entomology. By Rev. F. A. WALKER, D.D., F.L.S. Notes by S. T. KLEIN, Esq., 

F.L.S., and others. 

Petra. By Professor E. HULL, F.R.S. (with chart). 

83. On Krishna. By Rev. R. COLLINS, M.A. Notes by Sir M. MONIER- WILLIAMS, K.C.I.E., 
Dr. EDERSHEIM (the late). 
The Pedigree of the Coral Reefs of England. By S. R. PATTISON, F.G.S. Remarks by 

SirG. G. STOKES, Bart., P.R.S. 

Practical Optimism. By the Most Rev. Bishop SAUMAREZ SMITH, D.D. 

81. Traditions of the Aborigines of North America. By Rev. S. D. PEET (with illustrations). 
On the Beauty of Nature. By Lord GKIMTHOUPE, with special paper by Rev. W. 


Evolution. By Rev. H. J. CLARKE, M.A. Remarks by Sir J. W. DAWSON, K.C.M.G., F.R.S. 
Appendices ; The Jewish Nation and Diseases. Egyptian Discoveries in 1888. (Library 
List, &c.) The Sacred Books of the East. By Sir M. MONIER- WILLIAMS, K.C.I.E. 



IJktoria Institute, 

25 JUNE 1883, 







Precis of pages I to 8. 




" IN presenting the SEVENTEENTH ANNUAL REPORT, the Council desires to 
state that, in spite of those adverse influences affecting all Societies, the 
Institute's progress at home and abroad continues to be very satisfactory. 
[The Institute now consists of 1,020 Home and Foreign Members and 
Associates ; only 14 Members and 9 Associates have retired during the year.] 

" The number of new American members joining does not diminish, although 
the Institute's American offshoot (which is an independent Society), is rapidly 
advancing. In Australia and South Africa a system of corresponding local 
secretaries has worked well, and will be extended. 

"As regards the Institute's Philosophical and Scientific Investigations, an 
increasing number of home and foreign Members and friends now contribute 
to enhance their value, and aid the Institute in filling that position which 
its aims demand. It exchanges Transactions with many leading London 
Societies, whose Members whether in its ranks or not willingly render aid 
when consulted. 

" The adhesion of such men as PASTEUR and WURTZ, and many others at 
home and abroad, has tended to render the Institute more useful ' at a time 
when principles which a few years ago would have been taken for granted 
by ninety-nine out of every hundred persons are now all of a sudden brought 
up for discussion, and doubt thrown upon them,' and when it is so important 
that accurate scientific research should be encouraged and insisted upon. 

" Her Majesty the Queen, in consequence of a communication from the 
President, has been graciously pleased to accept the volumes of the Transactions 
of the Victoria Institute. It is hoped that ere long Her Majesty may become 
its patron. (See Vol. I., p. 31.) 

" Members and others in many parts of the world have written, expressing 
warm approval of the Institute, and their sense of the value of the Journal. 
(See Part 65, pages 9 et seq.) The papers and discussions are referred to by 
many as especially useful by reason of their containing careful examinations of 
those questions of Philosophy and Science said (by its enemies) to militate 
against the truth of Revelation. 

" A demand for the Journal has arisen on the part of the large Colonial and 
American Libraries ; several have purchased complete sets. 

" Spain is now added to the list of countries in which the Transactions are 

" The Journal is much used by Members and others lecturing at home, in 
India, and the Colonies." 


1 . The Adoption of the Report and Vote of thanks to the Council. 

2. Vote of thanks to those who had aided in the Institute's investiga- 

tions during the year, and to the Bishop of Derry, for reading 
the late Lord O'Neill's paper. 

3. Vote of condolence with the Dowager Lady O'Neill. 

4. Vote of thanks to the Chairman. 

Refreshments were afterwards served in the Museum. 

The Transactions now extend to sixteen volumes, containing the papers 
and discussions thought worthy of publication. Some are purely scientific, such 
as the paper on the Isomorphism of Crystalline Bodies, and some take up those 
questions of Science or Philosophy which bear upon the truths revealed in 
Scripture, these latter are taken up solely with a view to elucidating the 

Truth, and getting rid of such theories as might prove baseless. Purely theo- 
logical questions are left for other societies, and minister 

ministers of religion. 


The Eight Hon. A. S. AYRTON, P.O. I have to move : " That the Report 
be received, and the thanks of the Members and Associates presented to the 
Council, Honorary Officers, and Auditors for their efficient conduct of the 
business of the Victoria Institute during the year." I am invited to move 
this resolution because, like most of you, I take very deep interest in the 
proceedings of this Society ; and I enjoy, as I have no doubt many of you 
do also, the great pleasure of reading its proceedings from time to time. I 
think that those proceedings in an eminent degree grapple with the doubts and 
difficulties that are met with in the study of nature, and tend to satisfy the 
mind of any reasonable person that, instead of what are called modern dis- 
coveries and researches tending to overthrow the generally- entertained con- 
viction that the Author of all things is God, they lead, when justly and 
rightly considered and reasonably examined, to the very opposite conclusion. 
(Applause.) In my opinion every discovery that has been well established 
and generally admitted has only afforded another proof of the wondrous 
wisdom shown in all the works of creation. The Society's publications, I 
am glad to see, are being sought for and diffused in all parts of the intel- 
lectual world. It is satisfactory to know that the efforts which are made 
here afford in almost every part of the Queen's dominions a new basis for 
thought or action, and a new means for carrying on any controversy that 
may have been raised by publications of a character which we have u'o right 
to condemn because everybody has a right to say or to print what he thinks 
but which we have an undoubted right to refute and to show that they are 
not based on the facts which have been presented to us. Such is the view I 
take of the efforts of the Society, and of the principal results of those efforts. 
For some time past, however, I have entertained a rather decided opinion, 
which I will take this opportunity of expressing not with any authority, 
but rather as a suggestion for the consideration of the Council which manages 
our affairs in regard to the desirableness of extending our sphere of opera- 
tions. There are amongst our members men who perfectly understand the 
elaborate arguments which are necessarily used when we enter into controversy 
with other men of great mental capacity, who have used that capacity in 
writing works for the purpose of leading the public to conclusions which we 
do not recognise or admit. There is being diffused all over the country 
literature which has only one merit, namely, that it is extremely cheap 
although, if a thing is bad, that which would be a merit if it were good 
becomes a very great element of evil. (Hear, hear.) The cheapness is not 
an evil, but the rapid dissemination of the contents of a cheap bad book is 
much to be deplored. If we are to combat this growing evil, we must do so 
by operating in the same manner as those whose teachings we disapprove. 
We must endeavour to diffuse everywhere cheap works of a kind that all 
people can read who can read at all, and that all who read can understand 
works which can be followed without any difficulty or embarrassment, and 
containing arguments which can be appreciated because they are set forth in 
a form and style which comes home to their minds and feelings, and in a 
language with which they themselves are perfectly familiar. These are the 



sort of works which are used in the dissemination of error ; and, if we wish 
to overtake and circumvent error, we must use the same methods. Our 
works must be as engaging and inviting I hope, indeed, a great deal more 
engaging and inviting - than those which we condemn. I think this Society 
will do well, now that it has arrived at a certain stage of maturity, to devote 
its attention to the production of works of this kind. They ought to be 
cheaper than any of those works of evil which we desire to combat, and in 
this respect we ought to be able to win the battle. We start with very great 
advantages on our side ; and, if the works of our opponents are sold for two- 
pence, we ought to be able to sell ours for a penny. (Hear, hear.) We 
ought to make use of the first attraction of all, namely, that every one can 
afford to buy what we can afford to sell. We are bound to ask ourselves 
what constitutes attraction in the minds of the many. I object to the use of 
any class distinctions in putting forward literary productions, such as calling 
them " works for artisans," &c. There are works which are intended 
for scientific minds, for the use of persons engaged in the pursuit of 
particular branches of learning ; but outside these, and distinguished 
from them, there are the books addressed to the general reader, who 
wishes to approach a subject without preliminary learning and to un- 
derstand what he reads. This is the only distinction which should be 
observed. The publications I speak of ought to be prepared for the use of 
the general reader. If this plan were adopted, you would invite the 
attention of the working-man as a member of the general community, and 
not as one outside the community, and one to be treated in a special 
manner, and you would thus bring him within the brotherhood of know- 
ledge. These works should, then, be written in the most simple and common 
language. I do not wish to say anything depreciatory of what is called 
scientific language ; but every scientific man must admit that such language, 
as addressed to the general reader, is little more than a jargon of two dead 
languages mixed up in the most unsatisfactory manner, and conveying no 
meaning whatever. You must, then, take a review of that whicli you wish 
to do, and you may be quite certain that if you adopt : this course the work 
will be accomplished in a manner which will fulfil the desire that is enter- 
tained. If you start at random upon this great and very grave task, the 
result will be the same as it would be if you went into a shop, gave a very 
ambiguous order, and expected to get what you wished for it would, in 
fact, generally be disappointment. I think, then, that the Council should 
first attempt to get a clear comprehension of the character of the work, and 
that they should then obtain the services of those -who, from their clearness 
and force of expression, their knowledge and learning, would be capable of 
producing a review of modern science, leading, step by step, up to the 
conclusion we desire that is to say, leading from nature to nature's God. 
(Applause.) If time permitted, I could give, not a perfect, but a slight 
sketch of the sort of work I have in my mind ; but I am warned that 
the time at the disposal of any individual spe.-ikcr is short, and if I 
entered further into the subject I am afraid I should go beyond the period 

. 11 

that is assigned to ine. But in making these general observations I have a 
very clear conception of the whole scope and character of such a work ; how 
it should begin, how it should traverse the whole ground of science, showing, 
step by step, the absolute impossibility of matter making the intelligence by 
which the action of matter in the world is regulated ; how impossible it is 
that vegetables can invent, if I may so say, the elaborate processes by which 
they grow and propagate their species, by which, when they die, they leave 
their successors, and by which those successors do the same ; how absolutely 
impossible it is, if you go into the animal kingdom, the same thing can 
occur, that animals, beginning with those which are so minute that we 
cannot discover them with our unaided powers, could have invented the 
conditions under which they live, and the transformations into other forms 
of life ; how absolutely impossible it is that all the transformations should 
have gone on without any guide because the idea is that they have 
invented something above their own existence ; how absolutely contrary to 
all reason and sense this is in all branches of life, and still more how impos- 
sible it is in inanimate nature. (Applause.) If it is possible that any 
living thing could perform such an operation, it is absolutely impossible to 
suppose that an unliving could do so. We are brought to this one general 
conclusion, having reference to all things with and without life namely, 
that the power of human observation is limited. If people go to Maskelyne 
& Cook's, they think that some of the things which are done there are 
almost miraculous, because the observation is not commensurate with 
what passes before the eyes. In the same way, in studying nature we 
are brought to the limits of our power of observation. All materialists 
admit that there is a point of minuteness which the human faculties 
of observation cannot go beyond. If, therefore, the result of all modern 
science and material effort is to leave you at a point beyond which material 
effort cannot reach, beyond which you have to deal with inferential de- 
ductions from that which you can see to that which you cannot see if 
that is the result of all modern science, as it is its great glory and triumph, 
observe how you are brought in direct relation with that which man cannot 
appreciate with his own senses, but only with his intellect, and therefore into 
the realm which we say is the realm of the power and wisdom of God. Thus, 
every step is a new proof of the impossibility of any theory of what may be 
called material growth and development, and is, on the other hand, an absolute 
proof of the necessity of adopting the belief that there is a Power above 
which alone has prescribed the whole law for that which is living and 
unliving on the face of the earth that law which mankind alone are capable 
of appreciating by the use of faculties which they could not have invented 
for themselves, but which they have received and are bound to cherish as the 
greatest gift of God. Such, in general terms, would be the scope of the 
work to be presented to the general readers of this country a work which 
should present to him not merely subject for contemplation, but, at the 
same time, arguments that will convince him of the truth of what is 
challenged, and also bring him to the point of union with the ideas which 


he receives from the source of revelation. It is thus the two are brought 
into unison and harmony, and each supports the other, and brings the mind 
of man to that highest point of revelation namely, that he is the creature 
and servant of God, that he is capable of appreciating the will of God, and 
therefore of being accountable for all his actions here. This is the scope of 
the work which I would suggest for the consideration of our Council. I 
have not gone into it in any detail, on account of time, and I would say that 
it cannot be done in a day nay, I do not think it could be done in a year 
with proper care and attention but it may be done at no distant day, and I 
hope that when that time arrives the funds may have been found for its 
adequate dissemination. The question is one which ought not to be 
approached in a narrow and little spirit. If such a work is worthy of being- 
published, it ought to be published in so many thousands, that the cost of 
producing it would be little beyond the cost of the paper on which it is 
printed. If you make a great effort, and print hundreds of thousands, the 
work will not only reach all parts of this country, but will be spread abroad 
in all places, and will sustain itself, although, in the first instance, the society 
ought to be able to get together the funds necessary for sending forth pro- 
ductions which shall be worthy of the labours which will have to be 
bestowed upon them. (Applause.) 

Mr. S. SMITH, M.P. I am very glad to be here to-night, to second this 
motion and to testify the strong feeling of interest which I have in this 
society. This is the first occasion upon which it has been possible for me 
to attend any of our meetings, but I have received our very valuable 
Journal for several years, and, so far as I have been able, I have read the 
papers therein. I think this society has been doing a very good work 
in this country and in this age. No one who carefully observes the pro- 
gress of opinion can doubt that there has been a great growth of wild, 
infidel, and atheistic opinions in this country of late years. I often feel 
somewhat depressed and alarmed in noticing the strong tide which is running 
in favour of agnosticism, and the denial of all that we have hitherto con- 
sidered most sacred. Perhaps these opinions have not yet entered very 
deeply into society, but we cannot ignore the fact that they are held by 
many able, intellectual men, and by some men whom we have been in the 
habit of looking up to as leaders in science, in letters, and in philosophy, and 
that they are sinking down into what are called the lower classes, with very 
pernicious effects. Ifc came to my knowledge not very long since that 
doctrines which are destructive of the very foundations of morality and 
civilisation are being advocated by certain bodies. They have probably 
gained as yet the adhesion of comparatively but a few ; but, at the same 
time, I am afraid that they will spread. Whenever the ground has been pre- 
pared for them by the destruction of man's sense of reverence and responsi- 
bility to God, the progress is very rapid towards anti-social doctrines. See 
what is going on in another country at this time. In the neighbouring 
country of France, and especially in the City of Paris, the foundations of 
morality are already to a large extent overthrown in the minds of the masses. 


A frieud of mine who has just returned from Paris tells me that he attended 
a meeting O f Socialists while he was there, and the feeling which pervaded 
that meeting was one of bitter hatred against all classes possessing property, 
and that the idea of civil war was hailed with cheers. I am told also that the 
employes in Paris will not now recognise their employers, or hold any inter- 
course with them. They have received instructions from their societies that 
the employers are to be kept at arms' length, and that no intercourse is to 
be held with them. The doctrine widely preached is that the only way to 
treat the employer of labour and the capitalist is to put him out of the way 
as soon as possible. This is a matter which is worthy the attention of all 
thoughtful men, and I think that those who are dallying with these 
doctrines are little aware of the state of things they are helping forward, 
and of what would be the consequences if such doctrines were commonly 
held by the people. This Society is one of the various means of combating 
such views. Of course, I do not lose sight of the work accomplished by the 
Christian Church, which is the great means of preserving in this world all 
the elements of peace, prosperity, and true social welfare ; but it has various 
auxiliaries, and I think this Society and other associations, are very valuable 
aids to the more direct religious work of the Christian Church. I think also 
we require to recognise more clearly the terrible condition in which a large por- 
tion of the population exists. I am convinced that the extreme degradation in 
which certain portions of our large populations live is a seed-bed in which 
these dreadful infidel anarchical doctrines will take root and bear the most 
bitter fruit, and it becomes those who value the future of the country to con- 
sider what they can do to improve the condition of these degraded masses. 
Are we sufficiently alive to the fearful elements of danger that lie near our 
doors ? These people have kept very quiet, all things considered. They have 
not yet been much influenced by infidel lecturers and agitators ; but they 
will be drawn more and more in this direction. Education is spreading. 
The children of these degraded masses are being taught to read. The first 
literature that will come into their hands is this infidel literature of which 
Mr. Ayrton has been speaking, filled, as it is, with the most dangerous 
doctrines ; and when a few years have elapsed, we may expect a crop of 
Atheism and Communism, with all its attendant evils, in this country, such 
as is now being produced in Paris. We see it in America, and I am sorry 
to say that the same thing is spreading amongst the educated classes in 
India. I have lately received a letter from a friend in India, informing 
me that the educated natives are to a great extent adherents of the 
doctrines of Mr. Bradlaugh. All these things fill one with considerable 
dread of the future. I apprehend that the great battle of the future will 
be with unbelief in all its most daring forms, and it behoves all who love 
their country to do all they can to counteract these dangerous agencies. 
This society is one of the means well adapted for that purpose. I wish it 
all prosperity, and hope its publications will prove a great success. 
The motion was carried unanimously. 

1 4. 

Mr. JAMES BATEMAX, F.R.S. In acknowledging this kind vote of 
thanks, my words will be very few : and they will not be few, I am sorry to say, 
from any embarrassment such as a person might feel from having himself 
wrought any part of the meritorious work which has called forth such a 
handsome acknowledgment in such an important meeting. Full justice, and, 
I think, no more than justice, has been done to the Council ; honour to 
whom honour is due ; and we must not forget the thirteen years' labours of 
my gallant friend the Hon. Secretary, who is entitled to a very large share 
of this well-merited meed of praise. He must himself be astonished at the 
success of his labours. To those Labours, to his indomitable perseverance, 
and to his unflinching faith in his mission, this Society owes what it has 
attained. I remember the time when our adherents were reckoned by units, 
while now they are to be counted by hundreds, for at this moment the 
Society has a roll which extends to four figures. (Applause.) It would 
have been still larger than it is but for a very heavy death-rate, which 
includes some of our most important members, and men who were uni- 
versally known, such as the Earl of Harrowby and Lord O'Neill. How 
much the Society has lost by the death of Lord O'Neill you will be better 
able to appreciate when you have heard the paper which the Bishop of 
Deny is about to read. I hope I shall not be accused of any breach of 
confidence if I read a passage from a letter which I received yesterday from 
Lord O'Neill's widow. She tells me that not only she, but her daughter 
and all the family have their thoughts fixed on this meeting to-night. Her 
words are these : " I do hope that you and all who value the dear and holy 
words will be able to be present, and in doing so you will bring solace to a 
heart as completely broken as there ever was on earth." This adds a new 
interest to our meeting to-night, and I am sure it will be a great privilege to 
me to be able, when the meeting is over, to communicate to Lady O'Neill, 
not only how largely it was attended, but also how fully the value of Lord 
O'Neill's paper was appreciated by those who were privileged to be present. 

[TnE following Address (entitled "An Unbeliever's Description, of 
Christianity") written shortly before his decease, by the late RT. HON. 
LORD O'NEILL, was then read by the RIGHT REVEREND the LORD 

I AM not aware that I have met with any more succinct 
enumeration of the objections raised against Christianity, 
or one more plausibly expressed, than that which occurs in 
Mr. Herbert Spencer's " First Principles/' p. 120. Speaking of 
the spirit of toleration which " the catholic thinker " should 
display, he there says : 

" Doubtless, whoever feels the greatness of the error to 
which his fellows cling, and the greatness of the truth which 
they reject, will find it hard to show a due patience. It is 


hard for him to listen calmly to the futile arguments used in 
support of irrational doctrines, and to the misrepresentation of 
antagonist doctrines. It is hard for him to bear the manifesta- 
tion of that pride of ignorance which so far exceeds the pride 
of science. Naturally enough, such a one will be indignant 
when charged with irreligion, because he declines to accept 
the carpenter-theory of creation as the most worthy one. He 
may think it needless, as it is difficult, to conceal his repugnance 
to a creed which tacitly ascribes to the Unknowable a love of 
adulation such as would be despised in a human being. 
Convinced as he is that all punishment, as we see it wrought 
out in the order of nature, is but a disguised beneficence, there 
will perhaps escape from him an angry condemnation of the 
belief that punishment is a divine vengeance, and that divine 
vengeance is eternal. He may be tempted to show his 
contempt when he is told that actions instigated by an 
unselfish sympathy, or by a pure love of rectitude, are 
intrinsically sinful ; and that conduct is truly good only when 
it is due to a faith whose openly-professed motive is other- 
worldliness. But he must restrain such feelings," &c. 

And the Christian must also restrain his feelings of 
" indignation," " repugnance," " angry condemnation," and 
" contempt/' when he meets with such a burlesque of Chris- 
tianity as that set forth in the paragraph just quoted. Not 
being able to read the hearts of his fellow men, he must 
endeavour to give them credit for good intentions, even when 
they are misrepresenting and vilifying the religion which he 
believes in his heart to be true, and on which he leans for 
deliverance from the wrath to come. He must not allow 
himself to be surpassed by the unbeliever in patience and 
forbearance, when he sees the creed which he is accustomed to 
hold in veneration painted in false colours, and finds doctrines 
which, so far as they are believed and acted on, are calculated 
to regenerate the world, represented as irrational, degrading, 
and injurious to morality. This charitable spirit I shall 
endeavour, with God's help, to maintain in dealing with Mr. 
Spencer and others who assail the doctrines of Christianity. 
I desire to believe that their study of the orderly and regular 
processes of what we call nature, has caused them uncon- 
sciously to see subjects of a different kind through a dis- 
torting medium, and that they are not instigated by any wrong 
motives or intentions. 

In all caricatures, a certain likeness to the original is 
preserved. It is this, indeed, that gives them their piquancy. 
And it is not difficult to see, in the above passage of Mr. 
Spencer's, a likeness to the creed which is burlesqued in it, 
sufficient to leave us without any doubt that Christianity 


is the religion held up to- scorn through it. It divides itself 
into five heads : 

1. The carpenter-theory of creation. 

2. Love of adulation on the part of the Deity. 

3. Eternal vengeaiice. 

4. Good actions intrinsically sinful. 

5. Other-worldliness the motive of faith. 

First, then, as to the carpenter-theory of creation. 

If by this expression be meant simply a belief that God 
created the universe and all that it contains, what can be the 
object of calling it the carpenter-theory? The only con- 
ceivable object, in that case, is to make it sound absurd, by 
giving it an anthropomorphic twang which does not in reality 
belong to it. It is like the Puritans creating a prejudice 
against church organs, by calling them " whistle-pipes," or 
" skirl-pipes." I am not aware of having ever seen the belief 
in creation called a carpenter-theory by any Theist, whether 
the form of his religion be Christianity or any other. It is, 
in fact, a nickname, most unjustly conferred upon that belief 
by those who reject it. It is true, we occasionally find the 
Creator of the universe spoken of as " the great Artificer." 
But it is evident to all who choose to see, that this word is only 
meant to be a synonym to the word " Creator," expressing (as 
synonyms generally do) but a part of the whole idea, and 
used with a view to avoid wearying the ear with the same 
word often repeated, as well as to impart a pleasing vai'iety to 
the language. ' ( Artificer " means, in its strictest sense, 
" maker," a word which is also often applied to the Creator, 
as witness its use in our creeds. And both these words 
(artificer and maker), when used in speaking of men, can only 
include in their signification the idea of forming things out of 
materials already existing. Transferred metaphorically to the 
Deity, they connote to believers the additional idea of creating 
those materials. Believers, therefore, in using such words, 
are very far from implying that God only works as a carpenter 
does, from materials ready to his hand. But it suits the 
object of unbelievers to ridicule them as holding this view, 
and as associating the Deity in their imagination with a wooden 
bench,inthe midst of planes, saws,chisels, sawdust, shavings,&c. 

If they should reply that by the carpenter-theory of creation 
they mean the belief in creation out of nothing, then the 
word is a complete misnomer. Believers in creation no more 
believe in the carpenter- theory of creation than does Mr. 
Spencer himself. They believe that God called the world into 
existence out of nothing, the very thing which a -carpenter 
cannot do. Mr. Spencer may, therefore, spare his indignation 
at "being charged with irreligion because he declines to 


accept the carpenter-theory of crention as the most worthy 
one." Those against whom he feels so indignant might, 
perhaps, charge him with irreligion if he accepted that theory. 
But certainly it is not for rejecting it that they do so. It is 
for rejecting creation itself. It is for rejecting the doctrine 
that there is a conscious, intelligent Creator of the universe, 
or any God, unless that name may be given to the Persistence 
of Force which he seems to identify with the Unknowable 
(" First Principles," chap, vi.) 

But why should Mr. Spencer feel so indignant at being 
charged with irreligion ? Does he wish to be considered 
religious ? As a worshipper of the persistence of force, perhaps 
he does. But he cannot expect that Christians will accept 
that for religion. Or perhaps he only objects to the ground 
on which the charge is brought. If so, however, I think it has 
been sufficiently made to appear that he has entirely mistaken 
that ground. The ground is that he rejects God as a Creator, 
not as a carpenter. 

Dr. Tyndall, in his well-known Belfast address, supplies us 
with a similar, yet somewhat different, view of this " carpenter- 
theory." Speaking (in p. 36) of the different forms of life, 
rising gradually from the simplest to the most complex, he 
says : "In the presence of such facts it was not possible to 
avoid the question Have these forms, showing, though in 
broken stages and with many irregularities, this unmistakable 
general advance, been subjected to no continuous law of growth 
or variation ? Had our education been purely scientific, or 
had it been sufficiently detached from influences which, 
however ennobling in another domain, have always proved 
hindrances and delusions when introduced as factors into 
the domain of physics, the scientific mind never could have 
swerved from the search for a law of growth, or allowed itself 
to accept the anthropomorphism which regarded each suc- 
cessive stratum as a kind of mechanic's bench for the manufac- 
ture of new species out of all relation to the old." 

By those influences which have always proved hindrances 
and delusions when introduced into the domain of physics, Dr. 
Tyndall evidently means the Mosaic account of the Creation, 
which, according at least to the ordinary interpretation, 
assigns a distinct act of creation to each of the successive 
forms of life. And this he calls aniliropomorpliism, which is as 
unfair and false a term to apply to it as is the term " carpenter- 
theory." For what is anthropomorphism ? It is taking our 
idea of the Deity from what we see in man. It is, to use 
Another expression of Dr. Tyndall's. looking upon God as 
" a manlike artificer." But what is there that is manlike in 


creating the universe out of nothing ? It is just, of all others, 
the thing which no man ever did or could do. We may 
justly enough ascribe anthropomorphism to the ancient 
heathens, who described their gods and goddesses as swayed 
by human passions, prejudices, and interests, and having 
material bodies a little more ethereal, perhaps, and more 
easily transformed than those of men, but sustained by food 
and drink (which, to distinguish them from those used for 
human wants, were called " ambrosia " and ' ' nectar "), and 
capable of being hurt, though not completely destroyed, seeing 
that they were immortal. Thus, Homer represents Venus as 
wounded in battle by Diomede, which caused a refined kind of 
blood, called ichor, to flow from her hand (" Iliad," v. 340). 
Virgil* represents his gods and goddesses as changing their 
form when occasion required, which is, no doubt, attributing 
to them a power more than human; but even so, we may 
accept Hume's description of them, as quoted by Dr. Tyndall 
in the first page of his Belfast address namely, that they 
"were nothing but a species of human creatures, perhaps 
raised from among mankind, and retaining all human passions 
and appetites." That the invention of gods and goddesses 
such as these may be ascribed to anthropomorphism, we can 
readily admit. But the God in whom Christians believe is as 
different from these as light is from darkness. These have 
bodies and passions like ourselves, whereas our God is a pure 
Spirit, "without body, parts, or passions" (Art. L). I am 
not aware that any of the heathen gods were supposed to 
have created the universe out of nothing. Jupiter is indeed 
called " pater omnipotens " by Virgil in many places, but I 
find no trace of the idea that his power extended beyond a 
certain control over the atmosphere, whereby he was supposed 
to wield the powers of thunder and lightning, or such a 
control over matter as we ourselves have (only in a much 
greater degree), whereby the mountain Olympus, which was 
supposed to be his throne, could be shaken by his nod 
("^neid," ix. 106). But however this be, the power to create is 
a power utterly impossible to man, and to accuse us of 
anthropomorphism for attributing this power to God, however 
little intended by Mr. Spencer and Dr. Tyndall, is to utter a 
most unfounded calumny against those who believe in the 
Creator of heaven and earth. 

The belief in successive creations is made to sound more 
improbable still by Dr. Tyndall, through the use of an 

i, 315, and yil 419. 


expression whose unfairness is indubitable. In p. 58 of the 
Belfast address he describes that belief as ( ' a theory which 
converts the Power whose garment is seen in the visible 
universe into an artificer, fashioned after the human model (the 
usual cavil again) and acting by bfoken efforts,* as man is seen 
to act/' The effect of the word " efforts " on the mind of an 
unthinking person would be that he should imagine the 
efforts of the Creator, or at least some of them, to have been 
unsuccessful. Else why call them efforts ? Why not say 
they are acts, which word means successful efforts, and would 
truly describe the work ascribed to the Deity by believers ? 
But he also calls them broken efforts, thereby intensifying the 
idea of want of success, because the expression seems to imply 
that they had to be broken off, some of them at least, in an 
unfinished state. If this were not the object, " successive," 
or some such word, would be the correct one to use. It might 
be asked, How would Dr. Tyndall like to hear the words 
"broken efforts" applied to a series of successful physical 
experiments conducted by himself ? 

It is really surprising that men of philosophical mind and 
habits of thought should condescend to such quibbling. If it 
were to promote any other object than the depreciation of 
religion, I cannot think they would. But for such an object 
as that, it seems all stratagems are allowable. 

Mr. Spencer, in an earlier part of his book than that to 
which I have been lately referring ("First Principles/' pp. 33-4), 
carefully calls attention to the inadequacy of the " carpenter- 
theory " to serve as a simile for creation. But he does so 
under the delusion that Theists have adopted that theory, the 
fact being that it is falsely attributed to them by the men of 
his school. Theists, especially those of them who are 
Christians, have no theory whatever on the subject of creation. 
By a theory is generally meant a hypothesis explanatory of 
some fact. The fact of creation they acknowledge, but they 
confess their inability to account for it by any theory. What- 
ever else, therefore, may be said against us, let us no more be 
charged with accepting, or requiring others to accept, the 
carpenter-theory of creation. 

The next objection we have to consider is that in which we 
are accused of ascribing a love of adulation to the Deity. 

If we take the word " adulation " in its usual sense, it is 
enough simply to deny the charge. That God is pleased with 
His creatures for their own sake, when they appreciate His 
character, however inadequately, and when they have a 

* The italics are mine. 


grateful sense of His goodness towards them, is a truth which 
believers are not ashamed to confess. And for the outward 
expression of such feelings on the part of men, they use the 
word "praise," but not "adulation." The word "praise/' 
however, would not have answered Mr. Spencer's object, and 
therefore he prefers to call it " adulation!" Now, adulation 
means flattery, which is a very different thing from praise. 
If I might venture to explain the difference, the word " adula- 
tion" includes in the idea expressed by it, the notions of 
servility and insincerity on the part of the flatterer, together 
with the supposition that the flattered person is so vain as to 
swallow all that is said to him, and so weak as to be induced 
to confer favours without reference to the question whether 
the object of them be deserving or not. Praise includes none 
of these elements. It is the outcome of admiration of the 
divine attributes, among which are right and justice, and 
freedom from all those weaknesses to which human beings 
are liable. This word therefore would not have served Mr. 
Spencer's turn. " Adulation " suits him much better; only 
it has this disadvantage, that it is utterly inapplicable to the 
Deity in whom Christians believe. I hope, therefore, we 
may no more hear believers charged with worshipping a God 
who loves adulation. 

The next charge brought against the God whom Christians 
acknowledge is, that they consider punishment to be a divine 
vengeance, and that divine vengeance is eternal. Now it 
may be fully admitted that the Scriptures often use such 
words as "vengeance," "anger," "wrath," &c., when 
speaking of punishment inflicted by God. But inasmuch as 
the God in whom Christians believe is described by them as a 
Spirit, "without parts or passions," as already observed, it 
is evident that they do not understand the words in question 
in the sense in which they are used when applied to human 
beings. They are used to signify that God does what in a 
man would bo looked upon as the result of one of those 
passions, but it is not meant that the Deity acts upon any 
such impulse, or from any other motive than to do what is 
right. When the Scriptures say that the eyes of the Lord are 
over the righteous, and His ears open to their prayers, 110 ono 
imagines them to mean that the Deity has the bodily parts 
there mentioned, inasmuch as they always represent Him 
as pure Spirit. Similarly when they say His hand is stretched 
out, or His arm uplifted, no one is so absurd as to think they 
attribute to Him literally the possession of arms or hands. 
Why, then, should they not be understood iu a somewhat 
similar manner when they speak of divine vengeance ? The 


character of God is so little comprehensible to us, that we can 
only take in descriptions of it which are couched in human 
language. We are quite unable to represent to ourselves the 
state of mind (to use a very inadequate expression) which, 
corresponds in Him to the feeling which we call vengeance. 
Beyond the fact that it terminates in acts something similar 
to those which are the outward manifestation of vengeance in 
us, we know nothing about it. We can only believe that God 
punishes the wicked, because He sees it to be fitting and right 
that He should do so. There are, no doubt, some who question 
the fitness or righteousness of the acts of the Deity in this 
matter. But I believe that such persons speak of a matter of 
which they are no judges. If we were our own judges, no 
doubt we should punish ourselves lightly, if at all. And it 
appears to me that we are only able to look upon the matter 
from our own standpoint. I mean that we can only know 
what judgment we should pronounce upon our own demerits, 
but have no means of judging how they ought to appear in 
the sight of God, or with what degree of punishment it is 
right that they should be visited. Those of whom I have now 
been speaking admit God's justice in inflicting a certain 
amount of punishment. They believe that His inflictions are 
not vengeance, such as men would exercise, and here their 
view of Christianity differs from that depicted by Mr. Spencer. 
Whether the punishment be greater or smaller, shorter or 
longer, he attributes it (in his representation of that view) to 
a motive cf revenge for although he calls it vengeance, 
which is a word of somewhat wider signification, the implied 
motive is revenge, otherwise the objection would amount to 
nothing. Vengeance may, I think, be explained to be the 
infliction of punishment from a motive of revenge. And this, 
all believers refuse to accept as the explanation of Divine 
punishment. Surely if Mr. Spencer had considered the great 
love for the world which Christians ascribe to God, and which 
induced Him to give His only Son to save its inhabitants 
from the punishment which justice would otherwise oblige 
Him to inflict he might have been saved from giving so 
false and injurious a representation of the divine motives, as 
forming a part of the Christian system. 

What I have said about applying to God words ordinarily 
used to express human feelings, may be taken as explanatory 
of the Christian view (mentioned under the last division of our 
subject), that God is pleased when His creatures express their 
appreciation of His perfections in terms of praise. As we can 
form no adequate conception of the feeling in Him to which 
we give the name of vengeance, so neither can we form an 

adequate conception of the feeling in Him which we call 
pleasure. All we can say is, that everything shows us that 
God is good, and wills thafc His creatmes should be good also 
in their degree. Goodness in man is accompanied by the 
appreciation of goodness in other beings, and therefore chiefly 
in the Divine Being, in whom it is found in all perfection. 
Therefore, they who appreciate the divine character as they 
ought are good are, to a certain extent, such as God would 
have them be, and so we say that God is pleased with them, 
and with the praises they offer Him. 

The next objection, as stated by Mr. Spencer, is, "that 
actions instigated by an unselfish sympathy, or by a pure love 
of rectitude, are intrinsically sinful." 

It seems probable that the allusion here is to the thirteenth 
of the " Articles of Religion/' in which it is declaimed that 
" works done before justification/' or, as further explained, 
' ' before the grace of Christ and the inspiration of His Spirit, 
are not pleasant to God, forasmuch as they spring not of faith 
in Jesus Christ," and that not being done as God hath willed 
and commanded them to be done, " we doubt not but they 
have the nature of sin ;" or it may be that Mr. Spencer had 
in his mind some passages of Scripture to the same effect, as 
" without faith it is impossible to please Him" (Heb. xi. 6), 
and " they that are in the flesh cannot please God" (Rom. 
viii. 8). Now, it cannot be necessary to observe here, except 
for the information of some outsiders who may read the Trans- 
actions of this Society, that the Christian doctrine is this 
that owing to the fallen nature which we all inherit from the 
first human pair, no works that we can do, even when assisted 
by grace," are free from much that is imperfect and sinful ; 
and that still more is this the case when we are not so assisted. 
Thus, so far from saying that an act springing from a purely 
good and unselfish motive is intrinsically sinful, the Chris- 
tian teaching is that such an act is never done ; that, however 
excellent a deed may appear in the eye of man, in the sight 
of God it is so mixed up with sinful thoughts and motives 
that it can only be made acceptable to Him when it is done 
in faith, and that, for the sake of the atonement made by His 
Son, whereby what is wrong in it is, as it were, washed out 
and not had in remembrance before Him. In the Christian 
system, faith is set forth as the root of all that is good in our 
character, and as that which makes us to be accounted righ- 
teous in God's sight. Thus, works that are done in faith are 
looked upon, notwithstanding all their imperfections, as good. 
The goodness in which they are deficient is imputed to them. 
But without faith they' are not pleasing to God ; and, as this 


is owing to their being so mixed up with worldly, selfish, or 
sinful motives and feelings, works not done in faith are said 
in the Articles to " have the nature of sin." 

Now, Mr. Spencer's way of representing this teaching would 
make Christianity answerable for the absurd assertion that 
works intrinsically good are to be looked upon as intrinsically 
sinful ; whereas its true teaching is that no human works are 
intrinsically good, but that such of them as are done in faith 
have a goodness imputed to them which does not actually 
belong to them, and so are rendered acceptable to God for the 
merits of His Son. 

We may observe the contrast between the mode of expres- 
sion adopted in the Article and that made use of by Mr. 
Spencer. The Article adopts as mild a form of words as could 
well be thought of. It does not say that the works of which 
it speaks (works done previous to justification) are actually 
sinful, much less intrinsically so, but merely that " they have 
the nature of sin " (Latin, "peccati rationem habere "). Mr. 
Spencer, on the contrary, intensifies the assertion by the 
addition of the adverb " intrinsically," leaving no stone un- 
turned whereby religion might be made to appear absurd in 
the eyes of his readers. 

The fifth and last of the misrepresentations (I do not say 
intentional ones) comprised in the comprehensive paragraph 
quoted near the commencement of this paper is, "that 
conduct is truly good only when it is due to a faith whose 
openly-professed motive is other-worldliness." 

The gist and force of this lies in the rather unusual word, 
" other- worldliness." As worldliness i.e., a regard to our 
well-being in this world is generally looked upon as a low 
motive to action, the imputation of o/ie?*-worldliness has the 
appearance of implying that a regard to our well-being in the 
world to come is a low motive also. Now, no Christian looks 
upon a regard to our welfare, whether in this world or the 
next, as the highest motive ; but neither is it to be looked 
upon as a wrong one. To excite a prejudice against Chris- 
tianity, some unbelievers have called it selfishness, and pro- 
nounced it immoral, while they at the same time erroneously 
represent it as the only motive held out by the Christian 
system to those who believe in it. Thus they would have the 
world to suppose that the whole of Christianity rests on an 
immoral foundation. It might seem that a charge so absurd 
as this might well be left to refute itself. But it is so often 
urged in the present day, and that by writers whose eminence 
in other departments than that of religion imparts to them a 
factitious influence over the minds of the unthinking, that it 


is incumbent on the Christian advocate to endeavour to take 
it to pieces and point out its baselessness and unfairness. 

I shall begin, then, by calling attention to the distinction 
between selfishness and self-love. They are sometimes in used 
the same sense, but there is a proper and praiseworthy self- 
love, to which no blame whatever is to be attached. I should 
prefer to avoid the use of the word, as being liable to be mis- 
understood, were it not that it has been adopted by Bishop 
Butler as a convenient expression for that regard to our own 
interests and happiness which it is not only our privilege, but 
our duty, to act upon. He calls it reasonable or cool self-love, 
as leading us to consider and reflect upon the best means of 
ensuring our happiness in the long run. But while he looks 
upon this reasonable regard to our well-being as a right and 
proper motive, he is very far from representing it either as 
the highest, or the only one that ought to influence us. 
Benevolence, or a regard for the good of others, should come 
in at least in an equal degree (" Thou shalt love thy neighbour 
as thyself"), but both of these principles are subordinate to 
the moral sense, or conscience, by means of which we judge 
whether an action is right or wrong, virtuous or vicious, 
abstracted from its consequences to ourselves or others. This 
is the moral test to which our actions should be submitted, 
the principle which, as it were, reigns supreme over all the 
other principles of our nature. If an action be prompted by 
benevolence or by that reasonable self-love which I have 
endeavoured to describe, yet if we see it to be wrong, we 
ought at once to refrain from doing it. 

That the Christian religion recognises and proceeds upon 
the view of morality here set forth, cannot, I think, be reason- 
ably disputed. No doubt it holds out other motives in addition 
to those above mentioned, but its morality is founded upon 
eternal principles of rectitude. The Deity Himself acts upon 
such principles, as already observed, and the precepts given 
in Scripture show that He would have men to act upon them 

Bishop Butler designates a reasonable self-love by the 
name of prudence, observing that although subordinate to 
moral considerations, it is very superior to acting merely on 
such desires as happen for the moment to be uppermost. It 
is not properly called worldliness ; for prudence is a good and 
useful trait in the human character, whereas worldliness is not 
looked upon as such. Worldliness as a term of reproach 
appears to have little meaning, except when used by believers 
in a future state of retribution. Christianity recognises pru- 
dence, or a reasonable regard to one's own interests, us a 


duty, when it does not lead to any violation of the principles 
of rectitude; only it ought not to be confined to the present 
life, but should provide also for happiness in a life to coine. 
When it is confined to the present life, it is called worldliness, 
which has thence become a term of reproach, as implying the 
neglect of a man's highest interests, while unduly caring for 
his worldly welfare. But when used by an unbeliever in a 
world to come, there can be no reproach implied in it, be- 
cause then it simply means a prudent regard to prosperity 
and comfort in the only world whose existence he acknow- 
ledges. If this be a correct description of worldliness, as I 
venture to think it is, there is really no intelligible meaning 
in the term ' ' other-worldliness," as implying that a regard to 
happiness in a future state is a wrong motive. The very per- 
sons who use it would be among the last to find i'ault with a 
due regard to worldly welfare, and are therefore inconsistent 
when they insinuate that there is anything faulty in the en- 
deavour to secure lasting happiness in another world. A 
desire for happiness, in short, is one of the strongest princi- 
ples implanted in our nature, and nothing can be more absurd 
than to expect that a religion which has any pretension to 
exert an influence in the world, should ignore it, or fail to 
contain a provision for working upon it ; subordinate, of 
course, to the higher motive of acting according to right. 
This higher motive is that which the enemies of Christianity 
endeavour to keep out of view. 

That selfishness is not to be confounded with a reasonable 
self-love is obvious. A selfish person is one who thinks only 
of himself, and has no regard to the feelings, wishes, or com- 
forts of others. But a reasonable self-love is quite compatible 
with a regard to the happiness of others. There may, no 
doubt, be particular cases in which we are compelled to choose 
between the good of ourselves and that of our neighbours, 
but these are comparatively rare : and it is evident that the 
two principles of a desire for our own and for our neighbour's 
advantage are quite compatible, and in general conducive the 
one to the other, when all the circumstances are taken into 

I have said that besides the duty of regulating our actions 
by the rule of rectitude, Christianity supplies us with motives 
which, if duly encouraged and cultivated, are of great assist- 
ance towards enabling us to act up to what is right. The 
chief and highest of these additional motives is love to God, 
with the desii-e to please Him which such love is calculated to 
engender. This, as well as that principle of rectitude which 
lies at the root of all morality, is entirely left out by Mr. 
E * 


Spencer in the summary of Christianity (as he represents it) 
which forms, as it were, the text of this paper, so as to make 
it appear that the only motive to do what is right is a love of 
self, and this love of self he characterizes by a term of re- 
proach entirely inapplicable and undeserved, namely, other- 

Upwards of three years ago a controversy appeared in the 
Nineteenth Century, on a subject very much akin to that which 
is now before us, namely, the question whether atheism 
destroys the foundations of morality. The advocate of atheism 
was Miss Bevington, who maintained that morality, so far 
from suffering any loss, would be rather a gainer by the 
rejection of a belief in God. Her opponent was Mr. Mallock, 
the author of " Is Life Worth Living ? " and of other works, 
who maintained, on the other hand, that the rejection of a 
belief in God necessarily involved the abolition of moral dis- 
tinctions. To me it appears that both of these gifted writers 
were mistaken, believing, as I do, in opposition to Miss 
Bevington, that morality would lose very substantially if a 
belief in God should perish from the world, and, in opposition 
to Mr. Mallock, that morality has its root in the nature of 
things, and need not absolutely perish if a belief in God were 
rejected. There is, indeed, reason to fear that, practically, 
great moral laxity would follow the extinction of theism; but 
I believe that there would still remain the distinction between 
virtue and vice, although the obligation to follow the one and 
avoid the other would have a much looser hold on the gene- 
rality of human beings. When I speak of belief in God, I of 
course mean the acknowledgment that there is not only a 
god of some kind or other (such, perhaps, as the Persistence 
of Force), but a Deity conscious, intelligent, powerful, and 
who has a regard to the conduct of His creatures. Nothing 
short of this would be a belief that could influence human 

To consider, one by one, the arguments used by Mr. Mallock 
and Miss Bevington respectively, would both occupy too much 
time, and would be beyond the scope of this paper. But I 
may perhaps be permitted to bring forward one or two 
considerations of a general nature in connexion with the 

It seems evident at once that a belief in the God whom 
Christians acknowledge not only supplies additional motives for 
morality, but also enlarges its domain. The motives to which 
I refer are the love and fear of God, and the enlargement of 
the domain of morality consists in the addition of a distinct 
class of duties, comprised under the head of Duty to God. 


Neither these duties nor those motives could possibly have 
place in the morality of an unbeliever. In these respects, 
therefore, morality must be a loser by the extinction of belief 
in God, unless indeed it could be shown that duty to God 
forms no part of it, and that love to God and unwillingness to 
incur His displeasure have no influence on those who believe 
in Him. To prove that duty to God forms no part of morality, 
would require that it should be first proved that there is no 
God in the believer's sense of the word ; and this, I venture to 
say, never has been, or can be, done. That the love and fear 
of God have little or no influence on those who acknowledge 
Him, Miss Bevington attempts to show, but in my mind she 
entirely fails to do so. She brings forward a number of 
motives by which the generality of mankind are influenced as 
much, or more, than they are by religion; and asserts that 
" a man who is capable of making difficult exertion, restraining 
a furious passion, or patiently enduring a painful experience, 
for the sake of a loved and ideal God, or a vague and distant 
heavenly reward, is equally capable of doing so for the sake 
of a fellow creature, or for the reward he receives through the 
exertion of his sympathetic affections." This is quite true, 
but no argument. The man who can endure pain and restrain 
a furious passion for the sake of a loved God and a heavenly 
reward (I omit Miss B/s disparaging epithets, as not being to 
the purpose, and put and instead of or before "a heavenly 
reward," because Christianity holds out both motives) is, 
according to Christian belief, under the influence of Divine 
grace, which will certainly prove no hindrance to the exercise 
of sympathy and benevolence towards his fellow creatures, but 
rather increase it. Thus religion aids morality by supplying 
additional motives and good dispositions. I do not say it 
creates morality. I have already stated my belief that morality 
would exist if there were no religion, though it would stand a 
much worse chance of being practised. But the question is not 
between religious motives alone and ordinary motives alone. It 
is between ordinary motives alone and ordinary motives plus 
religious motives. It is, therefore, only a source of confusion 
and fallacy to discuss the question whether religious or ordinary 
motives are the more efficacious. With the generality of 
mankind, it is too true that the visible affects them more than 
the invisible the things seen, which are temporal, more than 
the things unseen, which are eternal. But our position is, 
that whether this be so or no, religion is calculated to come to 
the aid of morality by supplying motives and principles which 
morality alone does not supply. If morality rests on motives 
connected with what is visible, religion does not discard these, 


but supplies motives derived from the invisible also, and there 
can be no doubt that these two together are calculated to be of 
more force than one of them alone. 

But Miss Bevington, in dwelling upon the little power which 
religion has to improve the generality of those who acknow- 
ledge the Deity, seems entirely to ignore that class of believers 
who are what we call true Christians. That there are too 
many who, while intellectually acknowledging God, yet act as 
though they disbelieved His existence, and seldom or never 
give Him a thought, is a melancholy fact, and one which the 
Scriptures fully recognise. But there is also a large class of 
them though, it is to be feared, not so large who "set God 
always before them/' remembering that He is ever present, 
and that He watches over all that they do or think ; loving to 
do His pleasure, and careful to avoid whatever may be dis- 
pleasing to Him ; recognising His authority, and looking to 
the reward held out to those who endeavour to follow Christ's 
example. These are not free from imperfections ; temptations 
may at times get the better of them, and the hopes and allure- 
ments of this life may occasionally obscure their visions of the 
world to come. But their course, notwithstanding occasional, 
or even frequent, deviations, is heavenly, and many of them 
have shown that they are ready to endure pain and imprison- 
ment, yea, to suffer death itself, for the sake of Christ, who 
suffered and died for them. These would be among the last 
to say they are perfect, but they trust that their imperfections 
and sins will be washed away in the blood of the atonement. 
This is a class of persons which seems to be entirely left out 
of sight by those who say that religion is no help to morality. 
As long as there are true Christians in the world, so long will 
it be evident that such a position is false. Let unbelievers say 
what they will, such as these are " the salt of the earth," and 
if they were not living examples of what religion can do in 
promoting love to our neighbours, which lies at the root of 
practical morality, it seerns quite possible that belief in 
religion might become a thing of the past. 

1 would just notice one other statement of Miss Bevington's, 
in the articles contributed by her to the Nineteenth Century. 
It is this ; that the requisites to an action being virtuous 
are: 1. That it should be useful; and 2. That it should be 
difficult. I think it is easy to show that these two charac- 
teristics do not constitute the ground of virtue. We may 
presume that Miss Beviugton means to say that the action, in 
order to be virtuous, should be done with the intention that it 
should be useful ; and I think it may also be presumed that 
by " useful," she does not mean useful to some, while it causes 


greater injury, perhaps, to others, but that on a balance being 
struck, the good which the action is calculated to produce 
should exceed the injury ; and, therefore, that on the whole it 
may be looked upon as useful. This interpretation of her 
meaning appears to be warranted by other passages in her 
essay, in which she alludes to motives and to the general 
good, though her not having included the motive in this, the 
only one (if I don't mistake) in which a formal statement of 
that in which virtue consists is attempted, cannot but be 
considered a great omission. The great consideration is the 
motive. If an action ever so difficult, and ever so useful to 
the majority of human beings, be done from malice, for the 
purpose of injuring even one person, that action, so far from 
being a virtuous one, will be highly wicked. This I am sure 
Miss Bevingtoii would admit. What we have to consider, 
therefore, is whether the fact of an action being difficult, and 
done for the purpose of causing more good than harm, 
necessarily makes it a virtuous one. 

In the first place, it does not clearly appear that difficulty 
is an essential ingredient in a virtuous action at all. Difficulty 
requires self-denial, and self-denial is virtuous only when it is 
undergone for the sake of doing a virtuous action. It may be 
undergone, however, for the sake of doing a very vicious 
action, and then it is far from being virtuous. Self-denial, 
therefore, is not in itself a virtue, nor could it make an action 
virtuous that was not so independently of it. If I pay a just 
debt, I am doing a right thing, whether I had the money 
ready wherewith to discharge it, or whether I have been 
compelled to work hard in order to obtain it. I admit that 
the endurance of pain and labour may be a certain test of the 
strength of the virtuous principle in my character. It is 
possible that a man who pays his debt without any trouble 
might be disposed to repudiate it if he had a difficulty in 
procuring the means. But the payment is not the less an honest 
act on that account. That which tests the strength of a 
principle is no more the essence of that principle than a spirit- 
gauge is the essence of the spirit of whose strength it is an 
index. We must here distinguish between a particular act of 
honesty and the principle of honesty in the human character. 
An act done with a view to give a man what belongs to him is 
an honest act, independent of the question whether the doer 
of it would have the principle of honesty sufficiently strong to 
enable him to do it if the difficulty were greater. Thus it 
cannot be said that one honest act is more honest than another, 
while yet it may be said that one man is more honest than 
another, because in the one case we are speaking of what a 


man does, arid in tho other of the man himself. Again, if 
difficulty were essential to a virtuous act, the vicious character 
of an act would also depend on whether it is easy or difficult. 
And I don't think any one would maintain that the guilt 
attached to the perpetration of a murder would not be guilt if 
the question whether it was easy or difficult were decided 
either way. If it be done under difficulties, it only shows the 
determination of the murderer to be the stronger, and if it be 
done with ease, it is equally a wicked deed. It seems to me, 
therefore, that wo have now disposed of the question whether 
difficulty is essential to the moral character of an action, and 
have fairly decided it in the negative. 

There remains still the question whether utility makes an 
action to be virtuous. Here, again, we must take in the 
consideration of motive, as the most useful action that ever 
was done must be morally bad if the motive that induced it be 
bad. The question, then, should be put in this form. Does 
the intention of doing good, or if its results be of a mixed 
character of doing more good than harm, make an action to 
be morally good ? 

As this question has long exercised the deliberations of 
moralists, of whom there are two schools, chiefly represented 
by Bishop Butler on the one hand and Archdeacon Paley 
on the other, it seems to me that it would be a superfluous 
task to discuss it here. My only reason for not entirely 
leaving the matter in the hands of those two eminent writers 
is, that Butler, in opposing the doctrine that utility is the 
foundation of morality, assumed a Creator, and thence inferred 
the reality of moral distinctions, on the principle that God has 
so constituted us as to have a perception of those distinctions, 
which we cannot suppose He would have done if they did not 
exist. As this argument could not have weight with those 
who deny a Creator, and as our present business is with these, 
a few words seem necessary to make our subject complete. 

It cannot, I think, be denied that there are certain things 
which all human beings have a right to. Every one, for 
example, has a right to his life, as is acknowledged in tho 
laws of civilised countries, which make homicide in self- 
defence to be justifiable. Every one also has a right to his 
limbs, as is acknowledged in the laws against mutilation ; and 
every one has a right to his personal liberty. These rights 
may be called natural, as without the recognition of them all 
social relations must be destroyed, and man is by nature 
sociable. It is true that rights may, under certain circum- 
stances, be forfeited, as when a murderer justly suffers the 
punishment of death, with tho loss of his liberty for the time 


ho is allowed to live. But such cases are exceptional, and (as 
is often the case) they prove the rule, because society must 
punish outrages which tend to its own destruction, and it is 
on the existence of society that the rights just mentioned are 
founded. I am not forgetting, here, that Christians have a 
still better foundation than society for the acknowledgment of 
these rights, but it must be kept in mind that from the nature 
of the case I am compelled to take ground which unbelievers 
must, or ought to, acknowledge; and as these only acknow- 
ledge what is natural, and man is naturally sociable, they must 
hold that rights founded on society are natural. 

Now, the very idea of a man's having a right to anything, 
involves moral distinctions. For, if A has a right, B does 
wrong if he endeavours to deprive him of it. To do so would 
be to do him an injury >an injustice.* It is something more 
than merely inflicting pain upon him, which is cruelty. The 
idea of its being an offence against right is also included. On 
this account I look upon moral distinctions as having a 
foundation in nature in human nature at any rate. And it 
is because we have no right to injui-e our neighbour that the 
precepts of the Decalogue those of them, at least, which 
inculcate our duty to our neighbour were given. The object 
of those precepts was to enforce morality, not to supersede it; 
and therefore it is that I look upon Mr. Mallock as going 
much too far in his laudable zeal for religion when he says 
that without it there would cease to be any distinction between 
virtue and vice, as such. I so far concur with him, however, 
as to believe that men would have much less regard to moral 
distinctions even than they have now, little as, alas ! they 
now regard them ; and, therefore, that with the extinction of 
religion, morality would receive a most severe blow, and 
perhaps be in danger of perishing altogether. 

I have mentioned natural rights, such as the right to the 
possession of life and limb. There are, however, other rights, 
founded on the rules and customs of society, which may be 
different in different countries, and which may be looked upon 
as natural in a secondary sense, because society itself has its 
foundation in nature in human nature especially, but we see 
the germs of it in the lower animals also. .In civilised society 
these rules and customs include the laws of the country, and 
as life and limb are possessions to which nature itself gives 
every one a right, there are other possessions, external to the 
individual, the right to which is given by the law of the land. 

* From Latin in, signifying not, and jvs, right. 


Hence the idea of ownership. Hence also the general consent 
of mankind that it is a wicked thing to deprive any one, either 
by force or subtlety, of what is his own. 

Many are the speculations suggested by these considera- 
tions, but I must forbear to enter upon them. My chief aim 
has been to make it appear that the Christian religion rests 
upon a moral foundation ; that, while appealing to our desire 
for happiness that desire which is ingrained in the constitu- 
tion of man it holds out no selfish motives, such as its 
enemies are so anxious to accuse it of, but proposes to us the 
noblest aims, and calls forth the highest principles of our 
nature ; and that the God whom Christians acknowledge and 
adore is falsely accused when He is represented as " a man- 
like artificer," as delighting in adulation, or as indulging 
feelings of revenge. If I have in any degree, however small, 
contributed to bring out and disseminate these results, my 
object has been gained. 

Mr. ALEXANDER McARTHUR, M.P., moved : " That our best thanks be 
presented to the Lord Bishop of Deny for reading the late Lord O'Neill's 
Address, and to those who have contributed papers during the session." 
We deeply regret the loss of our excellent friend Lord O'Neill, and we 
must all be much obliged to the right reverend gentleman for having read 
his paper. We have also to express our thanks to those who have taken 
the trouble to prepare and read papers at the meetings of the Institute 
during the past year. Many of these papers have been very valuable, and 
those who have heard them read, or who have themselves read them after- 
wards, must, I am sure, have derived much benefit, and will be desirous of 
returning their best thanks to the authors. 

The bishop of BALLARAT : I have very great pleasure in seconding the 
resolution. I hope I shall be excused from making a speech, but I will 
offer one remark. It struck me, when the Bishop of Deny was reading the 
very luminous paper of the late Lord O'Neill, that it forcibly illustrated the 
truth, that we really ought not to be frightened at the formidable words and 
expressions which some Freethinkers make use of; because, when you come 
to look into them, you find there is really nothing whatever in them. They 
remind me of the passage in Shakespeare's "Second Part of Henry IV.," 
where the hostess, after listening to one of Pistol's magniloquent but inane 
utterances, exclaims, "By my troth, captain, these are very bitter words." 
And so they were to her, no doubt ; but they meant absolutely nothing. 
(Laughter.) Some of the epithets applied to Christianity sound very 
alarming indeed ; but, when one comes to examine them, the dismay and 
horror which are intended to be inspired altogether vanish. I second with 
great pleasure the resolution which has been proposed by Mr. M' Arthur 
and I very much congratulate myself, on the eve of returning to Australia, 

at having been present at this meeting, and having heard so valuable and 
interesting a paper as that of the late Lord O'Neill. 

The motion was unanimously agreed to. 

The Bishop of DERRY : Perhaps I may be allowed to say just one word 
I am sure it will be a great consolation to Lady O'Neill to hear of the favour 
with which her husband's most excellent paper has been received. The 
Bishopof Ballarat, in the remarks he made, spoke of things as they ought to 
be, and not, I am afraid, as they are. I am afraid that long words do make a 
great impression, especially on the minds of young men. Archbishop 
Whateley was in the habit of illustrating this by telling some of his 
friends a story about a lady to whom he gave some advice as to medicine 
for her children. When he told her to give them some tartar emetic she was 
horrified ; but when he said she should give them a little antimonial wine 
she replied that she would be very glad to do so. TVith reference to the 
paper itself, a nickname is very often a sort of condensed epigram. The 
very word " carpenter" throws ridicule on the larger idea of the creation, and 
the word " adulation ): makes praise odious. I have to thank the meeting 
very much for the attention which they have bestowed upon the paper. Jus 
to recall for one moment what Lord O'Neill was, I must say that he was a 
once a man of extreme modesty and a man of very singular gifts. If not 
a heaven-born mathematician, he was exceedingly able in mastering mathe- 
matical problems. His musical gifts were something marvellous. He was a 
learned divine and ripe scholar, and up to the last days of his life one of his 
greatest pleasures was to walk out with a friend and talk over with him a 
chapter of the Greek Testament. Above all and beyond all, his soul was 
based on a rock, and that rock was Christ. 

Mr. D. HOWARD (Vice-Pres. Inst. Chemistry). It is not without deep 
feeling that I rise to propose a vote of condolence to Lady O'Neill 
The beautifully lucid paper to which we have just listened comes to us with 
the deep solemnity of a voice from beyond the tomb. These are almost the 
last words of one who had devoted all the exceptionally high powers of his 
mind to the highest uses, and is now gone to join the heavenly choir, where 
the music he loved so well here shall find its highest expression ; to that 
heaven where all the deep problems with which he dealt here find their true 
solution, to live for ever in the beatific vision of Him who is the Truth. 

The thought of this is specially fitting for us as members of an Institute 
which seeks to harmonise all our intellectual powers with the life to come 
and to teach us so to pass our lives in things intellectual and philosophical 
that finally we lose not things eternal. 

Mr. HORMUZD RASSAM. Permit me to second this vote. 

Bisftop RYAN, D.D. I have great pleasure in proposing that the thanks 
of this meeting be presented to Sir Henry Barkly, our chairman upon the 
present occasion. During some eventful years of my life I often had the 
pleasure of seeing Sir Henry Barkly in the chair at meetings in the distant 
laud of Mauritius, where he was always ready to encourage scientific know- 
ledge. I was very much struck with one of the speeches we have heard, and 


in which we were told how we should proceed iu our investigations so us to 
lead up from one question to another. That was Voltaire's method. Vol- 
taire wanted to be an Atheist, and he could not. In such an assembly as 
this I need not scruple to give his own words : " Ce monde m'embarasse 
et je ne puis songer que cet horloge existe, et n'a par d'horloger. 
" This world troubles me. I cannot imagine how there can be this beautiful 
world, and yet none to construct it." I believe that real, honest investigation 
must always lea 1 to points like this. A remark has been made about works 
of the Society being addressed to those outside. I remember an episode that 
occurred in Gosport on one occasion. There was a man there named S 

who was in great trouble. I said to him: "S , what is the matter with 

you ? " He replied : " I have a set of fellows about me who are Atheists and 
Infidels, and I don't know what. They are plaguing me morning, noon, and 
night." I said, " take this book to them." It was Bishop Watson's answer 
to Tom Paine. Those who remember Paine's time know that his book was 
doing immense harm, and the Christian Knowledge Society brought out 

a cheap edition of Bishop Watson's reply. After S had taken that 

book to his friends he said it fell like a bombshell among them. They who 
know the book know that Bishop Watson argues the whole matter learnedly 
and simply, so that the most ignorant and the most intelligent and 
well-informed can find something in it that will profit. I think that this 
Society should endeavour to bring out books of this kind, and see that 
they are clearly and simply written, and are circulated far and wide. 
(Hear, hear.) It does not do to tell the masses they must not 
read the works of our opponents, for they will read them. I am a good 
deal among the manfacturing population in Yorkshire. An artizan in 
Bradford came up to me in the street the other day and said : " Bishop 
Ryan, I am very much troubled in mind." I asked him why ? He replied : 
" I have been reading Professor Tyndall's address at Belfast." I asked him 
how often he had read it right through ? " Once," he answered. Then I 
told him that I had read it three times and suggested that he should road 
it again. The man did so, and his trouble vanished. The fact is, that we 
must show boldness, especially in this matter. With regard to other books, 
I have seen those containing gross and violent attacks on Christianity, and 
have kept them in my study, saying to those who came to me about them : 
" There are the books, read them if you like ; but read also the answers to 
them." (Hear.) There was one remark made by the Bishop of Derry 
which was exactly what had been passing through my mind : It was with 
regard to Lord O'Neill's statement being deep and solid, and coining from 
the heart. With regard to Herbert Spencer, I think his accusing Christians 
of ascribing a love of adulation to God, only shows what straits men 'are in 
for an argument when they are driven to the use of such words. Let us 
all remember that whenever there is anything very startling we ought to 
examine it, and it may be that, as in this Institute, we shall find that 
in the discussion of infidel objections we come to the blessed truth of the 

Word of God, by which we can carry the mind to that heaven into which 
His servants have entered. 

Sir THOMAS GLADSTONE, Bart. I have been unexpectedly called upon to 
discharge a very pleasing duty. Having been an intimate friend of- the late 
Lord O'Neill, I am able to express my entire participation in every word 
that has fallen from the right rev. prelates who have just addressed you. 
Not one word they have said was undeserved by the deceased nobleman. It 
is not my intention, however, to intrude on you beyond making one remark 
with regard to the very able speech we have heard from the right hon. 
gentleman on my left, and in reference to the suggestion he has offered to 
this society, that it should produce such a work as he has so ably sketched 
out. I would venture to express a hope that he may himself put his 
shoulder to the wheel, and try what he can do in carrying out such a work. 
I now beg to second the resolution, which has been so ably proposed, of a 
vote of thanks to our Chairman. (Applause.) 

The vote of thanks having been carried by acclamation, 

Sir HENRY BARKLY said : I thank you for the compliment you have 
paid me, and which I have done so little to deserve. I have long taken 
great interest in the work of this Society, and it has been a privilege on my 
part to preside at so large and influential a meeting as this, and to have 
heard the late Lord O'Neill's paper. I believe the Society is doing a great 
work, and that it deserves support in its efforts to show that science, when 
properly cultivated, is not antagonistic to religious truth, but that they are 
really one and the same. I will not detain you longer, and can only repeat 
my thanks for the compliment paid to me. 

The proceedings having terminated, the members and their friends 
adjourned to the Museum, where refreshments were served. 


:ieii) of (Sreai Britain, 


Correspondence (including communications from intending Members 
or Associates, &c.) to be addressed to " The Secretary." (For Subscriptions 
see next page.) 


rpHIS SOCIETY has been founded for the purpose of promoting the following 
-*. Objects, which will be admitted by all to be of high importance both to 
Religion and Science : 

First. To investigate fully and impartially the most important questions of 
Philosophy and Science, but more especially those that bear upon the great 
truths revealed in Holy Scripture, with the view of reconciling any apparent 
discrepancies between Christianity and Science. 

Second. To associate MEN or SCIENCE and AUTHORS* who have already 
been engaged in such investigations, and all others who may be interested 
in them, in order to strengthen their efforts by association, and by bringing 
together the results of such labours, after full discussion, in the printed 
Transactions of an Institution, to give greater force and influence to proofs 
and arguments which might be little known, or even disregarded, if put 
forward merely by individuals. 

[For the special advantages secured to Country and Colonial Members and 
Associates in the Journal of Transactions, see below .] 

Third. To consider the mutual bearings of the various scientific conclusions 
arrived at in the several distinct branches into which Science is now 
divided, in order to get rid of contradictions and conflicting hypotheses, and 
thus promote the real advancement of true Science ; and to examine and 
discuss all supposed scientific results with reference to final causes, and the 
more comprehensive and fundamental principles of Philosophy proper, based 
upon faith in the existence of one Eternal God, who in His wisdom created 
all things very good. 

The Journal of Transactions 

Is arranged so as to secure its special usefulness to Country and Foreign 
Members and Associates (who form two-thirds of the Institute). It contains 
the Papers read at the Meetings, and the Discussions thereon. 

Before they are published in the Journal, the papers themselves, and 
the discussions, are revised and corrected by their Authors, and MS. comments 
and supplementary remarks are added, which have been seat in by those Home 
and Foreign Members to whom, as being specially qualified to pronounce an 
opinion upon the respective subjects, proof copies of the Papers have been 
submitted for consideration. These arrangements, which cannot but add to 
the value of the Journal, are carried out with a view to the advantage of 
all, especially Country and Foreign Members, who thus find in the Journal 
much valuable matter, in addition to that which had come before those 
actually present at the Meetings. (The Journal is sent post-free.) 

* The Society now consists of about 1,000 Subscribers (NEARLY TWO-THIRDS OF WHOJI ARE 
COUNTRY AND FOREIGN MEMBERS) ; including several Prelates and other leading Ministers 
of Religion, Professors of English and Foreign Universities, Literary and Scientific Men in 
general, and others favourable to the Objects. (The present .average annual increase is 
upwards of a hundred.) 


Pre sident. The Right Honourable the EARL OF SHAFTESBURY, K.G. 

Vice- Presidents. 

Sir J. RISDON BENNETT, Vice-President Royal Society. 

Sir JOSEPH FATHER, K.C.S.I., M.D., F.R.S. Rev. Principal T. P. BOULTBEE, LL.D. 
W. FORSTTH, Esq., Q.C., LL.D. J. E. HOWARD, Esq., F.R.S. 


Honorary Correspondent Members. 

Professor L. PASTEUR, F.R.S., Paris. Professor G. G. STOKES, F.R.S., Caml. 

Professor JOACHIM BARRANDE, Prague. V.-Cbancellor J, W. DAWSON, C.M.G., F.R.S. 
HOKMUZO RASSAM, Esq. Prof. A. WLRTZ, F.R.S., Paris. Prof. 0. HEER, Zurich. 

Honorary Treasurer. WILLIAM NOWELL WEST, Esq. 
Hon. Sec.- and Editor of Journal. Captain F. W. H. PETRIE, F.U.S.L., F.G.S., ic. 


Intending Members and Associates are requested to address " The Secretary." 

The Annual Subscription for Members is Two Guineas, with One Guinea 
Entrance Fee (see privileges). The Annual Subscription for Associates is One 
Guinea, without Entrance Fee. 

In lieu of Annual Subscription, the payment of Twenty Guineas (without 
Entrance Fee) will constitute a Life Member, or Ten Guineas a Life Associate. 

The payment of a Donation of not less than Sixty Guineas qualifies for the office 
of Vice-Patron, -with all the privileges of a Life Member or Life Associate. 

[It is to be understood, that only such as are professedly Christians are entitled 
to become Members.] 

* # *A11 Subscriptions are payable to the "VICTORIA INSTITUTE'S" credit at 
Messrs. " Ransom," 1, Pall Mall East, S.W., or may be remitted to " W. N. WEST," 
Esq. (the Treasurer), at the Institute's Office, 7, Adelphi Terrace, London, W.C. 


MEMBERS on election, are presented with any Volume of the First or Second 
Series of the Journal of the Transactions, and ARE ENTITLED to a Copy of the Journal, 
either in the Quarterly Parts, or the Annual (bound) Volume, for the years during 
which they may subscribe, and to a copy of any other documents or books which may be 
published under the auspices of the Society in furtherance of Object VI., and, on application, 
to a copy of every paper published in the "People's Edition " ; to the use of the Library ( Books 
can be sent to the country), Reading and Writing Rooms (affording many of the conveniences 
of a Club) ; and to introduce two Visitors at each Meeting. The Council are chosen from 
among the Members, who alone are eligible to vote by ballot in determining any question at 
a General Meeting. Members are further privileged to obtain any Volumes, other 
than that chosen, of the Transactions issued prior to their joining the Institute at half-price 
(half-a-guinea each), or any Quarterly Parts for past years at half-a-crown each. 

The Library, Reading and Writing Rooms are open, for the use of the 
Members only, from ten till five (Saturdays till two). The Institute 
exchanges Transactions with the Royal Society and many other 
leading English and Foreign Scientific bodies, whose transactions 
are therefore added to the Library. 

ASSOCIATES ARE ENTITLED, to the Journal, in Quarterly Parts or in the Annual Volume, 
for the years during which they may subscribe ; to obtain the earlier Volumes or Parts 
at a reduced price ; and to introduce one Visitor at each Meeting. 

Members and Associates have the right to be present at all Meetings of the Society. 
The Meetings, of which due notice is given, are held at 7, Adelphi Terrace, at Eight 
o'clock on the evenings of the First and Third Mondays of the Winter, Spring, and Summer 
Months. Proof Copies of the Papers to be read can be had by those desirous of placing their 
opinions thereon before the Members (when unable to attend, they can do this in writing). 

Members and Associates on 1st January, 1871, 203. Joined since. In 1871, 
91 ; 1872, 109 ; 1873, 110 ; 1874, 111 ; 1875, 115 ; 1876, 107 ; 1877, 
100; 1878, 101; 1879, 105; 1880, 104 ; 1881, 122. 

Members and Associates joined during 1882. 

Foreign and Colonial 52 

London and Country 70 


g 1 1 

3D O 

'I > 


VOL. XIV. (for 1880). 

53. "Th 


phy of the Sinaitic Peninsula," (giving results of last survey). By the 
F. W, HOLLAND, M-A. (Secretary, Palestine Exploration Fund); with a new map. 
" The Ethnology of the Pacific." By the Rev. S. J. WHITMEE, F.L.S. ; with a large new 

map, showing the distribution of Races aud all the results of the latest discoveries. 
The Annual Meeting. 

54. On Physiological Metaphysics. By Professor NOAH PORTER (President, Yale Univ., U.S.). 
On the Druids and their Religion. By J. E. HOWARD, Esq., F.R.S. 
On the Organ of Mind. By Rev. J. FISHER, D.I). 
On the Data of Ethics. By Professor WACE, M. A. 

55. On the Bearings of the Study of Natural Science, and of the Contemplation of the Dis- 

coveries to which that Study leads, on our Religious Ideas. By Professor STOKES, 
F.R.S. (Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, Cambridge, and Sec. to Royal Society). 

Late Assyrian and Babylonian Research. By HOHMUZD RASSAM, Esq. 

On the Evidence of the Later Movements of Elevation and Depression in the British 
Isles. By Professor HUGHES, M. A. (Woodwardian Professor of (ioology at Cambridge). 

On the Nature of Life. By Professor H. A. NICHOLSON, M.D., F.R.S.E., Aberdeen. 

56. On the Religion and Mythology of the Aryans of Northern Europe. By R. BROWN, F.S.A. 

VOL. XV. (for 1881.) 

57. The Life of Joseph. Illustrated from Sources External to Holy Scripture. By Rev. H. G. 

On the Relation between Science and Religion, through the Principles of Unity, Order, and 

Causation. Annual Address by the Right Rev. Bishop COTTERILL, D.D. 
Some Considerations on the Action of Will in the Formation and Regulation of the Universe 

being an Examination and Refutation of certain Arguments against the existence of 

a personal conscious Deity. By the late Lord O'NEILL. 

58. On the Modern Science of Religion, with Special Reference to those parts of Prof. Max 

Miiller's " Chips from a German Workshop," which treat thereon. Rev. G. BLENCOWE. 
On the Early Destinies of Man. By J. E. HOWARD, Esq., F.R.S. 

Pliocene Man in America. By Dr. SOUTHALL (United States) ; a second paper on the 
same, by Principal and Vice-Chancellor J. W. DAWSON, C.M.G., LL.D., F.R.S., of M'Gill 
College, Montreal ; and communications from the Duke of ARGYLL, K.G. ; Professor 
W. BOYD-DAWKINS, F.R.S. ; Professor T. McK. HUGHES (Woodwardian Professor of 
Geology at Cambridge), and others. 

Scientific Facts and the Caves of South Devon. By J. E. HOWARD, Esq., F.R.S-. 
, Implements of the Stone Age as a primitive demarcation between Man and other Animals. 

By the late J. P. THOMPSON, D.D., LL.D. 

; Meteorology: Rainfall. By J. F. BATEMAN, Esq., F.R.S., F.R.S. E. 

j On the Rainfall and Climate of India. By Sir JOSEPH FATHER, M.D., F.R.S., K. C.S.I, 
with a new Map, showing the Physical Geography and Meteorology of India, by 

60. , Language and the Theories of its Origin. By R. BROWN, Esq., F.S.A. 

VOL. XVI. (for 1882). 

61. The Credibility of the Supernatural. (Ann. Address.) By the late Lord O'NEILL. 
Supposed Palcoolithic Tools of the Valley of the Axe, Devonshire. By N. WHITLEY, Esq. , 

with engravings. 
An Examination of the Philosophy of Mr. Herbert Spencer. By the Rev. W. D. GROUND. 

62. On Herbert Spencer's Theory of the Will. By Rev. W. D. GROUND ; with Communications. 
Biblical Proper Names, personal and local, illustrated from sources external to Holy Scripture. 

By Rev. H. G. TOIIKINS, Comments by Professor MASPERO, Mr. RASSAM, and others. 
Breaks in the continuity of Mammalian Life at certain Geological periods fatal to the 

Darwinian Theory of Evolution. By T. K. CALLARD, Esq., F.G.S., with Comments by 

several Geologists. 
The New Materialism Unscientific ; or, Dictatorial Scientific Utterances and the Decline of 

Thought. By Professor LIONEL S. BE ALE, M.D., F.R.S. 
On the Living and the Non-Living. By the same. 
On the New Materialism. By the same. 

63. The Theory of Evolution taught by Hscckel, and held by his followers, Examined. By J, 

The Supernatural in Nature. By J. E. HOWARD, Esq., F.R.S. 

64. Materialism. By C. W. RICHMOND. 

VOL. XVII. (First Quarterly Part for 1883.) 

65. The Recent Survey of Western Palestine, and its bearing upon the Bible. By TKFLA \VNI-: v 

SAUNDERS, Esq. ; with the Speeches at the Annual Meeting. 

Remarks on Climate in relation to Organic Nature. By Surgeon-General C. A. (!oi;i>o\, 
M.D., C.B.; Speeches by Sir J. RISDON BENNETT, V.P.R.S., Sir JOSEPH FAYHEH, 
K.C.S.I., M.D., F.R.S., and others. 












IT is a bold, perhaps a rash thing, to question a biological 
conclusion publicly expressed by the present distinguished 
President of the Royal Society. But no one would be more 
ready than he to encourage the pursuit of truth, and in 
the interest of the latter 1 offer the following remarks on 
the subject of evolution, in opposition to statements and 
inductions expressed by Professor Huxley in the Rede Lecture 
delivered at Cambridge in the month of June last, and reported 
in Nature of June 31, 1883. 

The President defines the term evolution to mean " that 
the different forms of animal life had not arisen independently 
of each other in the great sweep of past time, but that the one 
had proceeded from the other ; and that that which had 
happened in the course of past ages had been analogous to 
that which takes place daily and hourly in the case of the 
individual; that is to say, that just as at the present day, in 
the course of individual development, the lower and simple 
forms, in virtue of the properties which were inherent in 
them, passed step by step by the establishment of small 
successive differences into the higher and more complicated 
forms, so in the case of past ages, that which constituted the 
stock of the whole ancestry had advanced grade by grade, in 

steps by steps, until it had attained the degreo of complexity 
which we see at the present day."* 

This clear statement of the proposition amounts to an 
assertion that all the differences between life-forms, ancient 
and modern, have arisen from time to time by virtue of 
" inherent properties." 

The eloquent lecturer then sets himself to prove that this 
hypothesis coincides with the actual life-history on the globe. 
The evidence on which he relies is, that of the animal inhabiting 
the shell of the pearly nautilus, as compared with the indica- 
tions presented by fossil shells of the same general kind. 
He selects from among the ancient fossils, one called an 
orthoceratite, a perfectly straight form; he takes this and 
claims for it the distinction of having been the father and 
founder of the whole nautiloid tribe. He says that it first 
underwent a slight curvature and became the cvrtoceras; in 
courseof time the curving and rolling upofsuccessive individuals 
became gradually more and more complete, until it finally 
issued in the beautiful Nautilus Pvmpilius of the present seas. 
That the proposition may be more fully before you, I quote 
further from the report: " Unquestionably, nautili were found 
as far back as the Upper Silurian age. Before that time there 
were no nautili, but there were shells of the orthoceratidae 
of which there were magnificent examples before him which 
resembled those of the nautili in that they were chambered, 
siphoned, &c., with the last chamber of such a size that it 
obviously sheltered the body of the animal. He thought no 
one could doubt that the creatures which fabricated these still 
earlier shells were substantially similar to the nautili, although 
their shells were straight, just as a nautilus shell would be if 
it were pulled out from a helix into a cone. Then came the 
forms known as cyrtoceras, which were slightly curved. Along 
with these they had the other fotms which were on the table, 
and in which the shell began to grow spiral. The next that 
came were forms of nautilus, which differed from the nautilus 
of to-day in that the septa were like watch-glasses, and that 
the whorls did not overlap one another. In the next series, 
belonging to the later palaeozoic strata, the shell was closely 
coiled and the septa began to be a little wavy, and the whorls 
began to overlap one another. And this process was continued 
in later forms, down to that of the present day. Looking: 
broadly at the main changes which the nautilus stock under- 
went, changes parallel with those which were followed by the 

* Eede Lecture, Nature, June 21, 1883, p. 189. 

individual nautilus in the course of its development, he con- 
sidered that there could be no doubt that they were justified 
in the hypothesis that the causes at work were the same in 
both cases, and that the inherent faculty, or power, or what- 
ever else it might be called, which determined the successive 
changes of the nautilus after it had been hatched, had been 
operative throughout the whole continuous series of existence 
of the genus from its earliest appearances in the later Silurian 
rock up to the present day/' 

This was his case for evolution, which he rested wholly 
upon arguments of the kind he had adduced. 

Will it surprise you to be told, after this, that not only is 
the argument hypothetical, but the facts are hypothetical too ? 
for in the British rocks, and presumably elsewhere, the 
orthoceras never turned into a cyrtoceras, for the simple and 
sufficient reason, that the latter actually preceded the former. 

They both appear in the same geological day, the epoch of 
the upper Cambrian, but the cyrtoceras is the first in the field.* 
After their first appearances both subsist, fully formed and 
equipped for the campaign of life, both preserving their 
respective identities, quite distinct from each other, both 
subsequently become scarce, and disappear. Whilst they 
lived together side by side in the Silurian times, new genera 
and species were added to each until there came to be no less 
than 143 distinct creatures, going down from age to age in 
lineal descent belonging to the orthoceras group, and 369 
belonging to the cyrtoceras, enjoying the same surroundings 
in every respect, but each species keeping to its own 

Professor Huxley accounts for the multiplication and variety 
of these creatures by the hypothesis that the cyrtoceras is an 
orthoceras in the first instance curved by accident or by 
external conditions, that thenceforward this individual pro- 
duced progeny similarly curved, and then similar causes 
produced like occurrences in succession until the thousand 
varieties of cephalopodous life thus arose, and what occurred 
in one group happened also in all, and hence the variety 
displayed throughout the animal kingdom. Now, whatever else 
may have been the true history of the origin of the great 

* Baiter's appendix : Memoirs of Geol. Survey, vol. iii., p. 358. " It 
is the earliest of the Cephalopods known, and it is not a little remarkable 
that the first species we meet with in ascending order should be not ortho- 
ceras, which is the most diffused and persistent form, but a genus which, so 
far as we know, is only Silurian and Devonian." 
B 2 

decayed cephalopodous family, I hope to show you that this is 
not its true pedigree, that the straight orthoceras is not the 
root of title. 

But the President has a right to say that he needed not to 
ground his argument on the evidence of British rocks alone, 
nor place it on so narrow a basis as the mere form of the shell. 
This must be granted. Subsequently to the delivery of his lecture, 
a most potent ally has come forward in the person of my friend 
Professor Alpheus Hyatt, the Curator of the Natural History 
Society of Boston, in Massachusetts, who has devoted all the 
powers of an acute intellect, large experience, and ample 
opportunity on both sides of the sea, to the investigation of 
this very subject, and who has just published, in the 
proceedings of the Boston Society, his adoption of evolu- 
tionary views and of the theory of Professor Huxley. 
Notwithstanding this, I will try to lay before you the reasons 
which, in my judgment, are decisive against the conclusions 
of these eminent men. In doing this, 1 shall have to trouble 
you with some dry details of geological, or rather palaeonto- 
logical facts regarding the succession of rocks, and of the life 
indicated by their fossil contents. 

We have first to speak of the shells. 

The nautilus is, as is well known, the sole living represen- 
tative of a vast family of marine creatures, which flourished 
in the first palaso-ontological ages, and are known to us in a 
fossil condition under various names. In the lowest strata the 
form called orthoceras prevailed, though, as we have shown, 
it does not appear first. In subsequent times the coiled 
ammonite is the prevailing form. The latter is so numerous 
in the rocks that its remains stand as the popular type of 
fossil life in general. 

These creatures belong to the group of cephalopods, 
the highest form of animal life existing in marine shells. 
They derive their distinctive class-name from their having 
the feet placed in a ring round the mouth. 

The commonest cephalopod now known to us is the cuttle- 
fish, which has an internal calcareous support ; the most beau- 
tiful, externally, is the pearly nautilus before referred to. 
The nautilus has two pair of gills, the cuttle-fish only one pair, 
and the whole assemblage is divided into two families pos- 
sessing this difference, the one called the dibranchiates, the 
other the tetrabranchiates. The former, the cuttle-fish kind, 
are the most numerous in the present seas ; but in the ancient 
oceans the nautiloids prevailed, and formed really the leading 
feature in the life of the period, so far as we know. The 
London clay immediately beneath where we now stand contains 

the shells of numerous species of true nautili, and so does the 
chalk beneath, whilst that, and the oolites lying next below, 
abound also in ammonite forms, and the still underlying rocks 
are thickly strewn with other members of the great tribe. 

For the present investigation it is only necessary to dwell 
principally on two leading forms, the old straight fossil ortho- 
ceras, and its companion called the cyrtoceras, differing from 
the former in being slightly curved. 

The chief home of the orthoceras and cyrtoceras is in the 
Silurian, both are also found in the Devonian. They begin to 
be supplanted by other genera in the carboniferous limestone, 
abound in profusion, in the guise of ammonites, in the Jurassic; 
rapidly decline and become feeble in the tertiaries ; and, save 
as to the nautilus, are extinct in the present world. 

The shell of the orthoceras appears to have resembled that 
of the pearly nautilus in that it was divided by shelly par- 
titions (called septa) into numerous chambers, connected only 
by a tube called the siphuncle, running through the septa, 
and terminating in the body of the animal. The latter 
evidently lived in the last and largest chamber, the other 
chambers acting as floats, the siphuncle keeping the chambers 
in a living condition. The shell of the present nautilus is 
always completely and elegantly curved, whereas that of the 
orthoceras is always straight. There are other differences, 
but the argument of the Rede Lecture is founded on this one 
distinction. It assumes that the straight form became casually 
curved in some one individual, whence sprung other similarly 
curved creatures now named cyrtoceras. A multitude of such 
casual variations, becoming fixed from generation to genera- 
tion, constituted the cyrtoceras tribe, whilst some other casual 
adventure or adaptive habit produced further coiling up and 
corresponding changes, which resulted in the populous races 
of ammonites and the persistent nautilus. 

We may incidentally remark that both shells, thus claimed 
as parent and child, have ornaments in the shape of furrows 
and lines, probably with colour (of wliich some traces have 
been seen), thus displaying similar regularity and beauty to 
the features possessed by their modern representatives. It 
serves still further to connect the present with the remote 
past, to learn that the shells of these fossil orthoceratidse 
afford, in some instances, marks of having been broken during 
life, and repaired again by the animal. The very dawn of life 
on the earth is chequered by ruin and restoration. The 
cephalopods were the monarchs of the sea, and, indeed, of 
creation, for there are no remains of fishes, and we have no 
trace, in the earliest formations of any land animal. There are 


ortlioceratites upwards of ten feet long. Their function appears 
to have been to keep the seas clear of superfluous animal matter. 
No one who has looked a cuttle-fish in the face would wish 
to cope with an enlarged addition of the uncanny creature, 
however beautiful its shell might be. 

Having now described what we are to look for in past life, 
I must briefly refer a little more fully to the places where we 
are to make our search. 

The lowest group of sedimentary rocks is called the 
Laurentian, largely developed in Canada, where it was first 
distinguished and named. This is estimated at 30,000 feet 
thick, and consists of gneiss, quartz-rock, and limestone, 
with occasional beds of graphite. The old granitic rocks of 
the West of Scotland, and the hard, dark rocks of Skye, are 
supposed to belong to this series. No trace of organic life 
has been seen in any part of' this vast formation, with the 
single exception of the masses of eozoon, a foraminifer 
developed and elucidated by the happy labours of Dr. 
Dawson, of Montreal. Next to the Laurentian, lying upon it, 
comes a series of coarse, hard rocks, called the Huronian, 
in which no fossils have yet been found. The reason for 
placing the Huronian over the Laurentian is that the former lies 
unconformably on the upturned edges of the latter. Next in 
the ascending scale is the series in which our best slates 
are found in Wales, and hence called the Cambrian. These 
show, in some of their layers, very numerous remains of small 
marine animals, including a bivalve mollusc called Lingula. 
The Lingula zone is the equivalent of the Potsdam sandstone 
of North America, and of the primordial zone in Bohemia. 
The Skiddaw slates in Cumberland, and the Quebec group 
and calciferous slates of New York county are also on this 
horizon. The assemblage of organic life shown by these rocks 
displays the well-known curious crustaceans as called trilobites, 
with great numbers of graptolites, and some shells and sea- 
urchins but no cephalopods. Next in our upward course occurs 
a series of slaty rocks, named, from the place where they were 
first distinguished, the Tremadoc slates. These are on the 
upper Cambrian level, and contain a distinct collection of 
animated life, still marine only, and numbering, for the first 
time, cephalopods. Amongst these latter the bent form, cyrto- 
ceras, occurs in the lowest beds, and the straight form, the 
orthoceras, over them, as may be seen, at Tremadoc, in North, 

Dr. Blake, the chronicler of the British cephalopods, 
writes : " The first to appear is cyrtoceras, represented by 
C. prcecox, though followed in the uppermost division of the 

same rocks by Orthoceras sericceum. It has been thought 
remarkable that the less simple forms should precede the 
straight orthoceras ; but the history of discovery shows that we 
canplace but little trust in such an isolated fact as it is liable any 
day to be reversed."* Although, therefore, we might be able 
to claim for the cyrtoceras the distinction of being the primal 
cephalopod, and so show the impossibility of its having, as the 
President thought, descended from orthoceras, yet we decline 
to snap a verdict in this manner, lest it should be reversed on 
a new trial by the production of further evidence. We prefer 
to open the question and look at all possible evidence in 
support of the Professor's proposition. 

Those who have to plead for evolution from the orthoceras 
do not affirm that this was the first creature of its kind, but 
the first creature of present kinds. They assume the existence 
of some earlier stage of life (of which, however, we have no 
evidence whatever), in which there existed earlier and simpler 
creatures whence either cyrtoceras or orthoceras proceeded, or 
both. Paleontologists know nothing of this. Mr. Hyatt admits 
that " in all the larger series of shell-bearing cephalopods the 
nautiloid shells belong to several distinct series," which, he 
states, " arose independently from straight cones through the 
intermediate graded series of arcuate and gyroceran or clearly 
coiled forms/' He lays it down that the ammonites are evi- 
dently descendants of the nautilinida3, and that the evidence 
is strong that the whole order arose from a single organic 
centre, the nautilus of the Silurian, or the orthoceras of the 
Cambrian. But how is this statement consistent with the 
conclusion of the same writer, f that the study of ihe tetra- 
branchs teaches us that, " when we first meet with reliable 
records of their existence, they are already a highly organised 
and very varied type, with many genera." They must have 
had ancestors now unknown to us, " but at present the search 
for the ancestral form is, nevertheless, not hopeful." 

When you visit the grand, capacious Natural History Museum 
at South Kensington, you find, in the department devoted to 
molluscan fossil remains, one room the first, appropriated to 
cephalopods. The first cases on the right, as you enter, con- 
tain the orthoceratites, and next to these are the cyrtocera- 
tites. This relative position is not indicative of order in time, 
but of apparent simplicity of form. The distinction between 
the two forms is immediately perceived. The cephalopod 
room is well worthy of study in the light of the early appear- 
ance of these creatures on the earth, and their apparently 

* Blake, British Cephalopoda, p. 238. t Science